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5 Tips for a Smooth Transition Back to School

August 4th, 2015

Back to School Blues

The beginning of August always set my stomach churning, knowing that school was right around the corner. I knew the change in bedtimes from summer time to school year would have to be dealt with. I also knew morning rush would be here too. I always had to remind myself how to set us up for a smooth successful year.

So, how can we make that time easier?

Back to School Tip One: Make lunch the night before.

Talk about lunches with your kids, what would be a good nutritious lunch for them. Get your kids input so you know they will actually eat the lunch. This is an opportunity for you to share a bit of good nutritional advice. Once your kids are in 5th grade and above they can even help make their lunch the night before. Making lunches the night before reduces the morning stress. It is so-o-o worth it! You can also put a message in with their lunch – the message can be silly or thoughtful – – just letting your child know they are important to you – thank them for something or mention something they did that made you smile.

Back to School Tip Two: Bedtime rituals

Have your kids pick out their clothes before going to bed. This reduces the morning stress of ‘what am I going to wear’. And, don’t let them change their minds the next morning. Remember that summer bedtimes are often later than school time, so it is a good idea to gently move into the school bedtimes. One of the easiest ways to do this is to move bed time 15 minutes ahead each night the week before school starts until it is at their school bed time. Also, start getting your children up at the time they will need to be up to get ready for school at least a few days ahead of time. Teach your children how to set an alarm clock and get up with it.

Back to School Tip Three: Morning routines

Use music in the morning to get your kids moving. Set up a morning routine: brush teeth, get dressed, make the bed, eat breakfast, put lunch into backpack, get jacket, depart for school, take backpack with you. You can even put a checklist on the back of the door you leave from – front door or back door. Then, before walking out the door, go through the check list. This will help prevent forgotten backpacks as well as forgotten lunches.

Back to School Tip Four: Breakfast time

If you give your kids choices for breakfast, limit the choices to two. Breakfast time isn’t the time to give a lot of choices, making that decision can often take a lot of time for somewhat sleepy kids. Be sure your kids have protein in their breakfast, i.e.: eggs, meat, turkey, cheese, yogurt, nuts. Whole grains and even vegetables are great breakfast fair too. Have your kids drink water before they leave for school or, if you drive them, in the car on the way to school. We want to hydrate their brains and bodies. Water can go directly to do that where juice and milk need to be digested before they hydrate the brain and body.

Back to School Tip Five: Set up morning time to be a ‘no screen’ time

Music in the background will get your kids moving. Watching television or using technology…iPad, smart phones, etc. tend to really throw your schedule off. They are just too distracting and really end up slowing you down. This is also the time for setting your kids up to have a really great day so you may want to review spelling words or math facts while eating breakfast. You can also remind them that they are going to have a really great day. That will help set them up for a good day.

Read about our Awaken the Scholar Within Programs and the Learning Tools to see how you can help your child in just 20 minutes a day.

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Back to School Transition