Back in the saddle

With school right around the corner, here are some tried and true tips to help your child successfully transition this fall:

Night Night: My daughter has been sleeping until 10 am for the past few weeks—mostly because she’s been up till 11 pm more nights than I care to admit. But now it’s time to get into the school-day rhythm. That means alarm clocks and routines need to start up again at least a week or two before school starts. Sleep experts recommend 10-11 hours of sleep for our elementary school students during the school year.

Don’t Make After School An After Thought: Whether your child attends Right At School or any other after-school program, make sure you’re registered. Many programs fill up fast, and there’s no need to scramble at the last minute for meaningful after-school enrichment.

Location, Location, Location: Identify a mutually agreeable spot for doing homework as well as the place where backpacks, lunch boxes, sports and music gear should be kept. Let your children recommend the best places so they can take ownership, but do this now, before the school year begins. Follow-up is key to ensuring your kids stick with these routines during the school year.

Declaration of Independence: What are your expectations for your child this year? Showing you homework without being asked? Writing down assignments? Now’s the time to set the stage. Even if your children are very young, you can build their confidence today by discussing your expectations before the year begins.

Be Positive: The American Academy of Pediatrics has some great tips for the first day of school. Mostly, it’s about us as parents creating a positive outlook for our kids. We can remind our children about what they enjoyed last year—new and old friends, great teachers, fun after-school clubs, and so on. We can also remind them that they’re not alone—all students are unsure about the first day of school, and all teachers know this! If possible, see if your child can walk or ride to school with a friend (or you).

Me Time: Don’t forget to take care of yourself! The first day of school, no matter how many times you’ve done this before, is bittersweet. My heart will pound just as hard watching Hannah walk out the front door in a few weeks just as much as it did last year and the year before that. Our kids keep getting older. . . thank goodness we don’t. This year my wife and I are going out for breakfast afterward…to reflect, reminisce, and sigh.

Welcome (or Welcome Back) To Right At SchoolLet’s Get Gritty