Back-to-School Tips for Parents:
Getting Back on Track
Back-to-school means it’s time to get ready for homework, field trips, football games, and science fairs. While some kids become really excited by the prospect of hitting the books again, not all children are so keen on going back to school. No matter which side of the excitement spectrum your child falls on, you can help prepare them for the fall semester with these helpful tips.
Adjusting to a Sleep Schedule
It’s normal for parents to be a little more lax with their children’s sleeping schedule in the summer. After all, they work so hard at school; what harm is there in letting them sleep in for an hour every once in awhile? However, the closer the first day of school gets, the harder it will be for your children to wake up at an early hour if their schedule has been irregular.
Getting your children back on their school sleep schedule at least two weeks before the first day gives their bodies enough time to adjust to the earlier hours. This will prevent crankiness, tardiness, and disruptive yawns in the middle of math class. Furthermore, when your child is well-rested, they retain information they learn at school more efficiently.
To make waking up easier, it’s crucial that your child falls asleep at an appropriate time. Try the following tips that can help kids fall asleep faster:
- If your child is not sleeping well, it may be time to get a new mattress. If your child’s mattress is more than 7 years old, take a close look at its overall condition. If it is saggy, lumpy, or squeaky, it’s likely time to replace it.
- Having a warm bath before bed can promote feelings of drowsiness that make it easier for kids to fall asleep. The hot water helps to raise body temperature. When your child steps out of the bath into the the cool bedroom air, that sudden drop in body temperature will make them feel sleepy.
- Turn off all blue light-emitting electronics at night. Blue light tricks the mind into thinking it is day, so the body has a more difficult time winding down. Have children play card or board games, read books, or do puzzles instead of watching TV or playing video games at night.
Among some of the biggest back-to-school concerns parents have are homework problems. Many children struggle when it comes to homework, whether it be forgetting to bring it home, handing it in on time, or simply hating completing it. One way to get your child excited about homework is by giving them their very own personal “office space” where they can have privacy to complete their work and study. Giving your child their own homework space provides them with a sense of agency in their lives, which can sweeten the bitter medicine that is school.
Let your child help when it comes to picking out their desk and supplies so they have a personal attachment to their study space. Over time, your child may see their space as a place for escape and contemplation, creating positive associations with studying in their brain. Furthermore, having a designated study space helps shift your child’s current mindset into one that is of learning, which can significantly improve their scholastic performance.
No matter how your child feels about going back to school, it’s important for you as a parent to help get them ready for this change in pace. Getting your child back on a sleep schedule where they wake up early enough for school is crucial. The earlier you switch back to school hours, the easier it will be to wake your child up on the first day and each one after. Beyond sleeping problems, many parents worry about homework. By providing your child with their own space to do homework, you are also granting them a sense of agency in their education that encourages independence as well as improved scholastic performance.