A new school year is here for some and on the horizon for many families all over the nation. It seems like everyone is back-to-school shopping and preparing for an upheaval in their day-to-day routines. While the new school year can cause stress and anxiety in kids and parents alike, there’s no need to fret. With these helpful tips, going back to school can start off without a hitch!
- One week before school starts, begin implementing your child’s school routine. Start by ditching the summer bedtime for an earlier hour to ensure your child gets enough rest for a successful day of learning and fun. Rehearse your morning routine; breakfast, teeth brushed, hair brushed, and get dressed. Pro tip: make it a game for your kids (i.e. first one who finishes breakfast, gets dressed, and brushes their teeth and is in the backyard gets to do one less chore – or reward of your choosing).
- Go back to school shopping and set aside an entire day to do it ALL. It may be a tiring day but getting everything accomplished will feel so good. Stick to the list provided by the teachers for school supplies. For back to school clothes, avoid buying too much. Kids are constantly growing and may not get as much use out of their clothes.
- Speaking of back to school clothes, the best way to ensure your child knows what they’re wearing to school each day is to have them pick out their outfit the night before. This way you never have to battle about which shirt, shoes, or pair of underwear your child wants to wear that day.
- Plan ahead for lunch. Will your child take their lunch to school every day? Do you have the extra time to make lunches every day? Or will they purchase a hot lunch from school? If your kids are bringing lunch each day, consider a cool, insulated lunch box with different compartments for a variety of foods. Looking for some inspiration for back to school lunches? Check these out!
- Fall activities planning can sneak up. Start planning your child’s extracurricular activities. Whether it’s classes at your local The Little Gym, or recreational soccer league, it’s important to have fun, physical activities outside of the home that supplement your child’s body and brain. Plus, if extracurriculars are planned in advance you can get a better handle on how busy (or not busy) your schedule will be.
- Attending a new school? Attend back to school night or the parent/teacher meet up to introduce yourself to the teacher and check out the school grounds. Help your child get familiar with the pickup and drop off areas of school. Kids are less anxious when they see familiar settings, and that first day of school can cause anxiety for some.
- If your child is taking the bus for the 1st time or the 5th year in a row, spend some time walking to the bus stop. Time your walk so you can determine how long it will take to get there each morning. Have a backup plan in case they miss the bus and learn where the nearest stops are.
- If your kids are older and will have homework now is the time to set homework expectations. Depending on your schedule, determine when your child will do their homework every day; will it be right after school, before dinner, or after dinner? This will help manage expectations and help your child gain a sense of security and responsibility with their homework.
A new school year and the first day of school doesn’t have to cause anxiety or frustration. With these tips to develop good habits, the new school year is sure to set off on the right foot! For more information about The Little Gym programs or to find a location near you, click here.