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Five tips for getting ready for the new school year

Posted by Scott Stueber on Aug 19, 2014 9:17:00 AM

school suppliesIf schools in your area haven’t already started, they will be soon. The transition from summer vacation to school can be challenging for you and your child. For my youngest daughter, the days of staying up late and sleeping in until 9:00 or 10:00 will be over. Here are some tips that can help make the transition from summer vacation to school easier for you and your family.

1. Exercise the brain. Have you ever heard of the “summer slide”? The "summer slide" is the loss of knowledge or concepts learned from the previous year due to the lack of stimulating academic activities during the summer months. To help get your kids ready for school, there’s still time to get them reading and working on math problems. To learn more check out my blog, “Tips to prevent your children from getting the ‘summer slide.”

2. Rest the brain. If you have children in school, you definitely understand the term hectic. The day starts early, and getting them going in the morning can be challenging. After school, their schedules are filled with homework and after-school activities. Both my daughters play volleyball so our evenings fly by. To keep our children healthy, however, it’s important for them to get a good night’s sleep. Proper sleep helps recharge our brains so we can be focused, alert, and calm. 

Now is a good time to start the back-to-school sleep schedule. To learn more read “Healthy Sleep Habits for Children.”

3. Look for ways to save on school supplies. While our children love getting new clothes and school supplies, it can be expensive. Here are some tips on how to save a few bucks.

4. Pick out the appropriate backpack. My girls love getting their new backpacks every year. They often roll their eyes at me when I ask them why they can’t re-use the one from the previous year. I guess fashion changes. This year they picked out their backpacks in June while on a family vacation in Florida. We had to make a special trip to the Vera Bradley store in the outlet mall. 

When picking out a backpack for your child, you should really consider:

  • What will go in the backpack? Depending on what they put in the backpack, it can get heavy very quickly. High school and college students will have a different load than kids in the early grades
  • Is the backpack comfortable? Consider buying backpacks that have padded straps. The heavier the backpack, the more strain that’s put on their shoulders. Some backpacks may even come with lower back padding.
  • How well is the backpack made? Even though my girls get a new backpack every year, durability is still important. Cheap zippers and poor stitching can lead to problems and frustration.
  • Check to see if your school has recommendations or restrictions. At my youngest daughter’s school, backpacks with wheels are not allowed.

Check out Fox News for more backpack safety tips.

5. Talk to your child.
Talking to your kids about a number of specific topics can help you both be better prepared for the new school year. Here’s a list of items that may be helpful.

  • Back to school jitters/anxiety. The thought of going back to school can create anxiety in children. Think about when you were a kid. My biggest worry in school was who I would eat lunch with. For me eating lunch alone or with kids I didn’t know well was scary. While I look back at this now and kind of laugh, it was a big deal back then. The article titled, “HELPING YOUR CHILD COPE WITH BACK-TO-SCHOOL ANXIETY” can help you understand what our kids worry about and how to help them cope.
  • Bullying. Bullying can have some serious consequences for those being bullied and those who are the bullies. Visit www.stopbullying.gov to learn what’s bullying, who’s at risk, and how to prevent and respond to bullying.
  • Distractions. Not only can distracted driving have deadly consequences, distracted walking can too. Distracted walking is becoming a problem as more and more kids focus on their electronic devices rather than paying attention to their surroundings. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, teens account for 50% of all pedestrian deaths. Here’s an infographic and a tip sheet you can share with your kids.

HOW DOES A TEEN CROSS THE ROAD


PEDESTRIAN SAFETY TIPS

Do you have any tips you’d like to share? I’d love to hear your thoughts; please share them in the box below.

Topics: Back to School

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