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  • marissaleitner

Tips for adjusting to the new school year

Updated: Mar 9, 2020

Transitioning back to the school year brings a range of emotions to students, parents, and teachers alike. Students may feel excited and anxious about new classes, new schedules, new friends, and new sports. In an ideal world students will transition seamlessly into the academic year from a relaxing summer. But for some who may need them, here are some tips that can help students experience a more successful year.

Developing a consistent sleep schedule is key. It is recommended that elementary school aged children get 9 to 11 hours of sleep each night. Lack of sleep can contribute to negative academic performance, short term memory loss, fidgeting, inattentiveness, and irritability. Find the ideal amount of sleep your child needs to feel refreshed. A bedtime routine can help your child get to bed on time. Limit screen time (computers, television, cell phones, iPads) for your child (and you!) one hour before bedtime. Instead of tv time, your child may relax by reading, journaling, coloring, listening to quiet music, doing puzzles, board games, etc.

A bit of preparation can empower your child to feel more confident and successful. Help your child feel less rushed in the morning by getting ready the night before. Your child should have all necessary school materials ready to go in his or her backpack in the same place each day. Put clothes out the night before, and set the alarm for a 10 minute cushion. Even the best planned morning has room for error.

After school, create a designated time and place to do homework and study at home. This area should be well lit, quiet, and away from distractions. Teach your child to incorporate mini breaks (stretch, exercise, snack) as markers of progress.

I am a fan of visuals. Have your child’s schedule easily available to see upcoming extracurriculars, events, tests, and assignments. This will help him or her plan. Your child can independently review the list of items that he or she needs that day. Here is a helpful tool that can be individualized for each child's backpack.

Finally, as parents you are the best resource. Remember to check in with your children and listen if you sense they are feeling nervous or hesitant. Encourage your child to problem solve and help him or her think of solutions. Be positive and model confidence for your child to emulate.

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