8 Essential back-to-school tips every parent should know

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With a well-rounded summer vacation ending, parents spend a lot of time getting their kids ready for school. New school supplies, haircuts, and closing up with vacation homework, all play into the back-to-school routine.

It’s no secret that parents who play an active role in their children’s education make a huge difference in their success. This active role can often create excitement as well as anxiety.

Here are some things you can do to help your child prepare for going back to school:

1. Set up a bedtime and wake-up routine in advance

If possible, it’s best to establish bedtimes and wake-up times few days in advance of the start of school. By the time the first school bell rings, kids will already be on the right sleeping schedule and it will be one less worry for your family.

2. Plan healthy lunches and snacks

Hungry kids can’t concentrate on learning, so good nutrition plays an important role in your child’s school performance.

When you pack protein-rich snacks and lunches, balanced with fruits, vegetables, and other wholesome items, you ensure that your children will have the energy and brainpower to make it through their school days.

3. Organize clothing

Get rid of the clothing that your kids have outgrown and take the time to carefully organize what is left. From there, decide what items you may need more of before school begins.

Wash, iron and keep all clothes together at least the day before, so you don’t have to rush in the morning.

4. Set a regular place and time for doing homeworks

Establish a distraction-free learning zone, away from the TV, iPad or other distractions. While you’re at it, set a bedtime, too.

Research shows that the quality and quantity of sleep has a profound impact on learning. Most important, stick to that bedtime through thick and thin.

5. Set up a staging area

Decide on a place to store everything related to school, including books, stationery and lunch boxes. Try to keep this area free of clutter and other non-school items so that you can find what you need, when you need it—and quickly.

Have the kids help you stock it with school-related items and keep it clean and functional.

6. Update medical records

Make sure teachers and administrators have a complete list of any medical concerns regarding your kids, including allergies. You will also want to be sure that all emergency contacts are up to date.

7. Ask your kids about their concerns

The start of school is exciting, but can also bring some anxiety – especially when it comes to the unknown. Take a few minutes to ask your kids what they are most looking forward to during the school year, and what things may be worrying them.

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8. Reach school early

It’s the first day of school and reaching a few extra minutes can make all the difference in the world. If your child is taking the bus, get to the stop early, and when the bus arrives, meet the driver.

On the other hand, if your work schedule allows, drive your child to school that first day. Beware of the crazy traffic that can build up on first few weeks. Get there early and help him or her settle in.

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