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Get Ready for Back to School with These Tips

by on August 21, 2012 12:02 PM

State College Area School District goes back to school next Tuesday.

For many children, summertime is the highlight of their year — swimming all day, playing until dark, staying up late and sleeping in every morning. But soon, this routine will have to change.

As the new school year begins to creep closer, parents often wonder what they can do to ready their children for back-to-school time.

Getting organized and changing routines early can make the summer to school transition run much smoother. Use these ideas to prepare your children (and yourself) for the busy back-to-school days.

Ease into the school year schedule: The night before school starts is no time for drastic changes to a child’s sleep schedule. During the last two weeks of summer, re-introduce a school year bedtime. Slowly wake your child up a few minutes earlier each day until they are comfortable with waking up early again.

Goal: Have a set schedule before the first day of school.

Create a positive attitude about going back to school: Though many do enjoy the school year, children are often filled with dread when it gets closer to back-to-school time. Make your child excited about returning to school by talking about being able to see friends, meeting his or her new teacher and being involved with extra-curricular activities. Focus on things that interest your child to emphasize how fun school can be.

Goal: Have your child look forward to returning to school.

Create a calendar: The school year is a time of school functions, music lessons, sport practices and club meetings. To lessen confusion for both you and your child, create a designated area where all calendars and appointments will be located. Try to condense schedules by creating a master calendar which is used by the whole family. Color-code each person’s events to keep everything straight. Have your child carry a planner with his or her events recorded.

Goal: Create less chaos by being organized from the beginning.

Set goals for the upcoming school year: Help your child create realistic goals pertaining to schoolwork. Ask them what they hope to accomplish and use these as goals. Try to not push your own predetermined goals on them. Always remember that school isn’t just about grades. It’s about making lasting friendships, staying organized, maturing and learning to be comfortable with oneself.

Goal: Set three to five goals that your child hopes to accomplish by the end of the school year.

Plan before you shop: Back-to-school time is one of the busiest shopping times of the year. Many sales begin in early July, so back-to-school shopping can never be too soon. Before heading out though, be informed. Assess what your child has. Learn what clothing and school supplies he or she will need for the coming school year.

Goal: Create a shopping list before going to stores. Stick to the list as much as possible.

Make a practice run: After your child’s sleeping habits are back in school year mode and clothes and supplies are bought, have a ‘school morning’ practice run. Show your child how things will work in the mornings for the coming year. In doing so, you and your child will have a better understanding of what needs to be done each morning and how long it will take.

Goal: Work out all possible issues to have the morning run as smoothly as possible.

By starting early, getting organized and setting goals, you can provide your child with every opportunity to be ready for the coming school year. Showing them structure, early morning energy, enthusiasm and a positive outlook will make the back-to-school transition easier and will have your child looking forward to an exciting new school year.



Sam is a correspondent for the Gazette.
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