Back to School Basics

Here are the essential Back to School Basics to help you start the school year off right!

1. Sleep schedule
As the school year approaches, it is a good time to begin to shift sleep schedules so that your child has some time to acclimate to an earlier morning routine. You can start now so that your children are well rested and refreshed when school begins. Sleep and a regular routine are cornerstones for academic success.

2. Organization
Have your child organize their school supplies and work area so that they feel prepared for the beginning of school. De-clutter and create a calm and serene work area so they have a space that is free from distraction.

3. Have it ready the night before
Morning stress goes down dramatically when clothes are laid out, backpacks packed and lunch ready to go the night before. Depending on your child’s age they may be able to do this on their own.

4. Schedule Doctor’s Appointments and Obtain Immunization Records
It is a good idea to book medical appointments before school commences so that your child will not have to miss anything.

5. Calendar
Parents can put up a family calendar and note all school closings and half days so that everyone knows what is coming down the pike. Include all after school and extracurricular activities and display it in a prominent place. Students should get in the habit of using their planners to mark off assignments as soon as they come in.

6. Intentions
Have your child take some time before school begins to reflect on what has gone well for them in the past and what they would like to improve on. Have them set some concrete goals for themselves and then break these goals down into small, concrete, bite sized steps.

7. Making Friends
For many children the biggest concern with school starting is whether or not they will makes friends and feel socially at ease and accepted. You can ease some of this concern by helping your child pay attention to social cues that identify potential friends.

8. Encourage your child to be friendly. 
This is particularly challenging for shy children. If you see your child struggling, it is helpful to have them practice friendly social cues with you. They can role play what they might do to show someone else they would like to be friends, things like smiling, offering compliments and giving friendly greetings.

Wishing you a wonderful Back to School!
Aliza mendel, LCSW
Licensed Therapist