Getting Back Into School Mode

Back to school tipsI have gotten a few good suggestions for the blog this month from some of the parents in the office. I would love to touch on all the suggestions given to me, such as fall allergies, the flu shot and ADHD.  But due to time and room constraints, I am going to stick with offering a few suggestions on getting your children back into school mode.

During the summer, children will often develop bad habits.  Then when school starts, these bad habits can get in the way of school and performing to the best of their ability.  The best time to get homework done is as soon as they get home.  They should sit at the table or in a comfortable spot with minimal distractions.  It’s okay to take occasional breaks but only after some progress has been made.  Screen time for TV and games should be very limited on school nights, especially prior to homework being completed.

Bedtime can be another difficult time when transitioning to school mode.  Pediatricians recommend 10-12 hours of sleep each night for kids in kindergarten through 6th, and 8-9 hours for 7th through 12th.  So to meet these minimum requirements your child may need a bedtime as early as 8 p.m.  To ease them that way in the evening, a bath and some quiet time would be recommended.  Excessive stimulation such as the news, action movies and loud music should be avoided within 30 minutes of bedtime.  A small night light and a little wite noise can be very helpful, especially for the younger children.  Leaving TV’s on and movies running should be avoided.

The morning routine is also a time of change from summer to school time.  For many of the older children, there is no morning routine in the summer because they are still in bed.  Few children are easy to get going in the a.m., so a consistent wake time and a firm wake up call needs to be employed. 

Finally, every child needs to get their day started right with something for breakfast.  Not everyone will be able to provide a large breakfast every day, but even a glass of milk or a piece of toast is preferable to nothing.

Good luck to all you parents out there.  Wishing you another healthy, successful school year!