It is time to start preparing for the new school year. It is likely to be a bumpy start as teachers and students are acclimating to the “new normal” after last year’s unprecedented events.
We put together 7 tips to help you start the year off successfully:
1.Buy school supplies ASAP. As mentioned in this USA Today article, a shortage of backpacks, sneakers and other back-to-school staples is expected this fall.
2. Keep your eyes out for state tax holidays and back-to-school sales for a break on expected higher prices. As mentioned in this article, there is a tax holiday in Florida for school supplies and other items from July 31st to August 9th. Check here for the tax holiday in your state.
3. If your child has summer reading assignments make sure they are completed before the start of the school year. If you do not have the book, check the library, Amazon, or local book swaps. We also recommend using audiobooks for the struggling reader, so that they can listen while following the text. Take some time to discuss what your child is reading – keep it fun and engaging.
4. Now is the time to start transitioning from summer to back to school routines. It is crucial to get your child into good sleep and eating routines prior to the start of school. If they are getting to sleep at 10 pm now, they should be asleep by 8:30 pm when school starts. We suggest doing this gradually in 15-minute increments.
Getting off screens an hour before bedtime will help everyone. Using a visual schedule can be a positive activity for the entire family. Be sure to include specific events (physical activities, snacks, individual activity times, screen time ) for everyone, so that your whole family knows the plan. Include your kids in planning the schedule so they feel a sense of ownership.
5. Start easing into an earlier wake-up routine now. As with our bedtime suggestion, start now with gradual 15-minute increments. You should aim at having them adjusted to the earlier wakeup time by the first day of school.
6. Work with your child on identifying a fun and light summer memory. Especially in the early grades, kids are often asked to write or speak about this the first week.
7. Think about how you want to build rapport with your teachers this year. Teachers are often dealing with their own family challenges, and are facing an upcoming school year where many of their students are struggling. A brief note that shares critical information about your child and your willingness to help, will start everyone off on a good foundation.