Starting a new school year is exciting and daunting at the same time. Students and their parents hope for the best year possible as they meet their teachers and learn their new routines. Here are tips that allow students to function optimally, overcome the jitters, and give them the opportunity to do their best.
TIP 1: Get enough sleep. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following guidelines to ensure children are rested and functioning well during school.
- Children 3 to 5 years of age should sleep 10 to 13 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
- Children 6 to 12 years of age should sleep 9 to 12 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
Our brains have important work to do while we are sleeping. Our bodies need time to rest and renew for a new day’s activities and learning. Read more about sleep recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics on their link below:
TIP 2: Establish a routine. Children perform better at school if they have a regular schedule at home for mornings and evenings. Ensure an established time for doing homework, playing outside, and then a daily bedtime routine. Help your child gradually start working toward going to sleep and waking up at the same time as during the school year. Create some rituals around bedtime to help your child’s mind and body prepare for sleep (i.e. reading, taking a warm bath or shower, and setting out clothes for the next day). Allow your child to prepare clothes and backpack the night before to reduce confusion and rush in the morning.
TIP 3: Connect with friends. Intentionally attend events before school begins so your child can meet new classmates as well as old friends. Sneak-a-peek is a great way for your child to interact with classmates and alleviate anxiety the first day of school. Arrange play dates for your child with other children in his or her grade level.
TIP 4: Communicate with your child’s teacher. Start building a relationship with the teacher by attending school events such as Open House and Sneak-a-Peek. School staff invest precious time into preparing for these events and look forward to connecting with parents. The investment of your time in keeping open communication with your child’s teacher will pave the way for a successful school year.
TIP 5: Read, read, read. Reading 20 minutes per evening is a standard guideline for students. By setting aside specific times, rather than trying to squeeze it in between soccer and gymnastic lessons, you send the message that reading is an important activity, and something your child will enjoy. A language rich environment ensures that children have ample reading material including books, magazines, comics, and other reading material. Storytime at the library is a fun activity for summer that can help instill a love of reading.