What parent hasn’t received a call from a teacher asking for the signed release form for their field trip… only to find it in their child̵7;s backpack next to the forgotten homework assignment?
As the lazy days of summer come to an end and kids head back to school, they can sometimes struggle to adjust to different schedules, structured classroom environments, and the demands of student life. Help yourself and our child stay organized with these five tips:
Develop a routine before school
Need to remember that Alison has piano lessons on Tuesdays and Josh has soccer practice on Wednesdays? Have a calendar that you can quickly refer to each morning before you walk out the door. List each day’s activities so you can make sure your kids don’t show up to music lessons without their songbooks, or to sports practice without their gear.
Develop an after school routine
Provide a convenient space in your home as a drop-off area for school papers that need your review or signature. Make it a litter-free zone so materials don’t get lost or lost. Help your child get into the habit of emptying their backpack as the first thing they do when they get home—yes, even before they grab a snack from the fridge.
Create checklists and reminders
There is no one system that works for every child. Help your son or daughter discover what works best for them and let them help decide the system. If your child is more artistic, they may prefer a notebook where they can draw, doodle, or use colored pencils, highlighters, or stickers to keep track of homework assignments and deadlines. If your child prefers tech, they can choose to keep notes or schedule reminders on a smartphone or tablet. You may also want to check out special apps to download on their mobile device.
Encourage immediate action
If your child needs to remember something at the end of the day, encourage them to text you the task as a reminder as soon as they can. Do you need to sign a piece of paper? A simple “Dad, you have to sign something tonight” may be all that’s needed.
Provide fuel for thought
Students need fuel to start the day and help them stay focused, energized and alert. But not just any food will do. Choose protein-rich breakfast foods including eggs, omelets, Greek yogurt and meat to keep them going until lunchtime. Try to avoid starchy foods. Research suggests that typical breakfast items like toast, hash browns, cereal, and pastries are loaded with refined carbs and sugars that can create blood sugar (glycemic) spikes, decrease energy, increase cravings, and cloud thinking. Even supposedly “healthy” snacks like granola, trail mix or protein bars often have significant amounts of added sugar. Instead, choose fruit, string cheese or almonds to satisfy the craving.
By following these tips, you’ll help take some of the stress out of back-to-school for both you and your child.