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Ways for parents, kids to prepare for back to school
The inevitable last minutes of summer are ticking away. The countdown has begun for back-to-school once again. And along with it, major retailers are bombarding parents, making sure they hurry out and buy the coolest new outfits, backpacks and gadgets for their kids.
But this hyped-up, commercial back-to-school rush to equip students with new garments and gear often gets in the way of the real preparations that parents and kids should focus on for a successful school year.
“The mad, back-to-school dash to purchase new clothes, backpacks, electronic devices and school supplies often overwhelms parents and children alike,” said Julia Fitzgerald, Sylvan Learning’s chief marketing officer. “What is often lost in this scramble is the fact that school is about learning.”
“Starting a new school year can be a daunting experience for many students, and failing to get off on the right foot can set the tone for the rest of the academic year. Parents need to take the right steps starting now to make sure their students are prepared to tackle new academic challenges with the right habits and daily routines. This includes trying not to be so consumed with showing up in the latest fashions; it’s not that important.”
Here are four simple things Fitzgerald suggests parents can do to help their children achieve better academic results:
• Impose the two-week rule – With later bedtimes over the summer, children need to ease back into their school routine rather than having a sudden change their first day of school. Using the last two weeks of summer to re-introduce a school year bedtime routine will make waking up on that first day a lot easier.
• Reintroduce regular meal times – During summer months, kids tend to grab a snack several times during the day. Parents can start reminding students to get back into a three-meal-a-day schedule in order to regulate their system into the back-to-school mode. Nutrition is an important factor in academic performance, and eating a healthy, balanced breakfast and lunch keeps kids alert throughout the day.
• Family calendar – Time management is tricky for everyone, especially kids and teens, but planning is an important way to save everyone’s sanity. Having major deadlines, due dates, events and extracurricular activities in one place helps kids visualize their week, manage their time and stay on track.
• Don’t ditch good habits – If you and your child have established a good summer learning routine, when school starts try not to forsake all of the fun reading, writing and art activities that kept your child engaged all summer.