Helpful Tips for Heading Back to School

Summer break is coming to a close in Jefferson County, and the lazy hazy days of summer will be giving way to school bells and class schedules. Sometimes the transition from the break to the new school year can be a bit stressful, to say the least, but there are ways to make the change easier.

The U.S. Department of Education offers tips for having a successful start to the school year.

Visit the School

Walk or ride the route your child will take and make note of school patrols, crossing guards, and high traffic areas along the way. Talk to your kids about NOT talking to strangers and find out what, if any, policies your child’s school has regarding early arrivals or late pick-ups. Learn about the school’s entrance and exit policies. Then, if you can, pop in and check out what the inside of the school looks like.

Introduce Yourself to the Child’s Teacher

Introduce yourself to your child’s teacher and ask him or her about the preferred method of communication. (Some teachers are active on email and social media, while others prefer the phone or in-person meetings.)

Make Homework a Priority

Make homework time a daily habit. Find a quiet and consistent place at home where your child can complete homework. If your child is having difficulty with their homework, make an appointment with the teacher sooner, rather than later.

Prepare a Study Area

Set up a special place at home to do school work and homework. Remove distractions. Make it clear that education is a top priority in your family. Show interest and praise your child’s work.

Take Charge of T.V. Time

Limit the time that you let your child watch TV, and when you do decide to do TV time, make it a family affair. Talk together about what you see and ask questions after the show ends.

Get Everyone to Bed On Time

During the summer, children aren’t always on a schedule, which is understandable. But, proper rest is essential for a healthy and productive school year. Help your kids get back on track sleep-wise by having them go to bed earlier and wake up earlier at least a week in advance of when school actually starts.

Make Healthy Meals

Let’s face it – no one can concentrate when they’re hungry. Studies show that children who eat healthy, balanced breakfasts and lunches do better in school. Fix nutritious meals at home, and, if you need extra help, find out if your family qualifies for any child nutrition programs, like the National School Lunch Program.

Get a Check Up

It’s a good idea to take your child in for a physical and an eye exam before school starts. Most schools require up-to-date immunizations, and you may be asked to provide paperwork showing that your child has all the necessary shots and vaccines. So, check your state’s immunization requirements and always keep your own copies of any medical records.

Plan to Read With Your Child Every Day

Make a plan to read with your child for 20 minutes every day. Your example reinforces the importance of literacy, and reading lets you and your child explore new worlds of fun and adventure together.

While there is no sure-fire way to eliminate all the stress of beginning a new school year, starting off with structure now will help ease the pressure.

Good luck with the new school year to parents, teachers, and students from all of us at the Jefferson County Post!

Source: Angie Stanley, Jefferson County Post Staff Writer