Returning to school after a summer off can be a tough transition for children and their parents. Summer is often a time when structure is relaxed and fun is emphasized. Children need help, both mentally and physically, adjusting to the demands of school. The following tips will help you and your kids make the transition back as smooth as possible.
- Return to a healthy sleep routine. Were your kids going to bed at late every night over break? Sleep is one of the most important factors in student success, so it is imperative to make sure your kids are getting enough sleep. Getting up earlier for school means setting an early bedtime. The schedule may be difficult at first, and kids may protest, so start gradually moving the bedtime earlier each night for a few weeks before school starts. Getting your kids to practice good sleep habits will help facilitate a good night’s sleep, which includes no screen time right before bed and no caffeine for at least a few hours before lights out.
- Provide nutritious meals at consistent times. It is common for parents to relax mealtimes over the summer between the fun outings and activities. However, the school schedule is very rigid, and kids need to get used to that routine. You can help them by ensuring they eat meals at regular times each day. Meals also need to be focused on getting the proper nutrition. Junk food often contributes to uneven blood sugar levels and weight gain, which affect energy and concentration. Nutritious meals will help kids endure the long school day with natural energy so they can be at their best.
- Encourage reading. Having fun during the summer is important, but many kids quickly forget what they learned over the summer. Fortunately, simply by having your kids do some summer reading, you can help them retain the information they learn each school year. Encouraging reading and other educational skills can help to ensure your children are ready to face the academic expectations of school. Plus, summer reading can be more enjoyable, as it is focused on what books interest the child as opposed to being assigned by class.
- Be positive about school. As a parent, you set an example for your kids. If you are upbeat and excited about school, they are more likely to have a positive attitude about returning. It is also important to make sure they have the necessary supplies to hit the ground running. A child will have more anxiety about going back to school if they go to class unprepared. Be sure to make back-to-school shopping fun! Let them pick out folders with their favorite characters on them or browse through the racks for a cool new backpack. They’ll be excited to show off the gear that represents who they are as they go into the new year.
- Prioritize health and immunizations. When the kids return to school, you also return to all the germs that school brings. Make sure your children are healthy and up-to-date with their immunizations, so they don’t catch any unnecessary illnesses. A physical is a great way to ensure they are ready to handle the demands of school and will help clear them to participate in extracurricular activities, such as sports.
Returning to school can be a challenging time for you and your child. Our goal is to help make the transition back to school as easy as possible. We are here to assist you with physicals, immunizations, illness, and health consultation. Please contact us for all your school health and pediatric needs.