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Battling the Back-to-School Blues

Seven tips to ease the transition from summer to school

Summer is a season when schedules fly out the window and bedtimes (and wake-up times) become mere suggestions. Many students embrace the lack of routine, and the start of the school year can be a difficult adjustment, no matter their age. These seven tips will help ease the transition from summer to school for students and their parents.

1. Start the transition early

It is a good idea to start transitioning children back to school habits before the big day. Enforcing bedtimes and setting alarms two weeks before the first day of school gives students time to adjust to a new schedule. Parents should also try to serve meals around the time their children will eat during the school year, so their bodies adjust to the regimen.

2. Have records organized

The start of the school year is also a busy time for most pediatricians. Schools may require documentation of up-to-date vaccinations. Be sure to check the vaccine requirements for your state.

Parents may also need to fill out applications for health and nutrition programs, such as the National School Lunch Program. And there may be forms regarding dietary restrictions, allergies, and medical/developmental/behavioral conditions that teachers, school nurses, counselors, and administrators need to know about. Make sure you have the documentation and records ready to complete these.

3. Establish an after-school routine

The hours after school are just as important as those spent in a classroom. Students may be involved in extracurricular activities such as sports, school clubs, dance lessons, and band practice. Teenagers may also have part-time jobs or volunteer commitments. They also need time to finish homework and other school projects, not to mention eat dinner.

Set up an after-school family routine to accommodate these obligations. Be sure to account for the time children are allowed to spend watching TV, playing video games, or being on social media.

4. Set goals for the year

The start of a new school year can bring stress and anxiety for many students. Setting goals for the upcoming year can help give them something to focus on.

The goals can be whatever you and your child decide. They might include meeting new friends, joining a club, making a sports team, or taking classes that will enhance his or her college applications. These goals give children something to work toward, as well as a confidence-boosting sense of achievement when they meet them.

5. Visit the school before the first day

Starting at a new school can be a time of stress, and it may help ease a child’s anxiety to tour the facilities before the big day. Make sure they know where their classrooms and common rooms like the gym, theater, library, and bathrooms are located. Also, take the chance to size up cubbies and lockers for the gear they can bring.

6. Pick a first-day outfit before the first day

Be sure to check with your child’s school to determine what is allowed. You will need to find out where school uniforms can be purchased if required. If there are no uniform requirements, choosing a first-day outfit can be more of a challenge or project depending on the child’s temperament. There may still be a dress code, so check with the school before you buy anything.

7. Make transportation plans

Students need to get to and from school safely every day. Parents should make transportation plans well before school starts to ensure the transition goes smoothly. Answer these questions before the first morning of the school year.

What time does school start and how will your child get there?

If they are riding the bus, do you know where the bus stop is and what time they will be picked up and dropped off?

Do you know where the school’s designated drop-off and pick-up area is?

Are there any regulations on bicycles or other vehicles, such as scooters?

Have you gone over traffic safety information, stressing the importance of crossing at the crosswalk (never between parked cars or in front of the school bus), waiting for the bus to stop before approaching it, and understanding traffic signals and signs?

If your child walks or bikes to school, have you mapped out a safe route? Does your child understand that it is never OK to accept rides, candy, or any other type of invitation from strangers?

Get ready for a bright new year

There is a lot to think about as we gear up for a new school year. The time is filled with excitement, but also anxiety for some students and parents. Use these tips to help ease the transition and get the year off to a great start.

American Heritage School is ready for a fantastic year of learning and growth. It is our goal to make the 2019 to 2020 academic year our best one yet. If you are still looking for a school for your children, contact our Boca/Delray campus to schedule a tour.