Returning to School: It’s that time of year again, summer is over and hundreds of thousands of families are preparing to send their children back to school. Going back to school can be hard for some students. Not only do new routines need to be adapted, but parents also worry about safety. To help parents ease their minds, we’ve gathered some tips and tricks for making the adjustment smoothly. We’re also including a safety list from the American Academy of Pediatrics for parents to use with their children.
Adjusting to the Routine
If your child had a rather relaxing summer, you might find waking them up at 6 a.m. a challenge. To prevent this occurrence from becoming the norm, we recommend taking the following steps:
- Start the Routine a Few Weeks Early – This includes earlier bed times and alarms.
- Try to Show Your Excitement – Talk about friends, sports and other things your child likes about school.
- Don’t Go on Big Trips – It might make returning to school a little stressful.
- Review & Set Schedules – This includes times for homework, sports, TV, etc.
As you know, having an established organization system that works for your child is key to a successful school year. But, if you aren’t organized, it might start everyone out badly. Try these tips this school year:
- Return any paperwork a few days prior to its due date.
- Arrange for any healthy doctor appointments.
- Have copies of immunization records.
- Update the schools emergency contact information and health information from the previous year.
- Mark any important dates in a family calendar.
- Have a specific folder for anything important from the school. This can include emails from teachers, newsletters, report cards etc.
- GreatSchools.org recommends implementing a “Get Ready the Night Before” policy. This means having your child pick out their outfit, pack up their backpacks and any other needed items.
Another easy way to help with back to school is meal planning. Not only does it allow you for an organized evening, but it also shows the family what’s for dinner and options for other meals. It’s a great skill to teach your kids and packing lunches can save the family money over time.
Traveling To & From School
- Remind your child to wait for the bus to stop before approaching it from the curb.
- Make sure your child walks where the bus driver can see them.
- All passengers should wear a seat belt or use an age- and size-appropriate car safety seat or booster seat.
- If you have a teen driver, they are more likely to crash going to and from school. Make sure they know the risks of using technology while driving. Go over the state’s graduated driver’s license law and consider a parent-teen driver agreement. See healthychildren.org/teendriver
- Always make sure your child wears a bicycle helmet.
- Teach your child basic biking safety rules such as riding in the same direction of traffic, using hand signals and respecting traffic lights and stop signs.
Walking to School
- Review the route to school with your child and make sure it is safe.
- Identify other children in your neighborhood your child can walk with.
- Be realistic about your child’s pedestrian skills.
Good luck to the new and returning students! Have a great school year and be safe.