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Help for getting back in the school routine

By Toi Degree

Rowan Cooperative Extension

School began last week, and I’m sure there are still some of you who have not quite worked out all the kinks in your routine just yet.

I also know that as a parent, you try to structure your child’s life in such a way as to remove instability, provide predictable routines and minimize emotionally difficult changes.

Shopping for new school supplies and clothes helps kids start thinking about the return to the classroom, but that’s just the start. There are many more ways to prep kids for school year success so that they can start the new school year with a fresh and ready mind.

The habits and routines that are implemented at home right now go a long way to helping students prepare not only for back-to-school success but for success that lasts the whole school year, much longer than new pencils or running shoes will.

Reintroduce bed times and wake-up times

Poor sleeping habits can have an impact on student performance, so the sooner you get your child on a regular sleep schedule, the better. Starting the school year will be easier for you and your child and will help avoid morning and evening rushes.

Limit screen time during after-school hours

During the school year, after-school hours should be reserved for homework and extra-curricular activities. Start getting into this routine in the weeks leading up to school. The sooner kids turn off the TV and turn on their minds during this timeframe, the less hassle homework will be during the school year.

Play board games to challenge the mind

Use TV-free time to play board games with kids during what will become the homework hour. This will help kids get into the habit of engaging their mind during this time so when homework starts coming home again, they already have a routine in place.

 Buy a family wall calendar to hang in a visible location

A wall calendar makes a great organization tool. Have kids write down their commitments like soccer, dance class, birthday parties, etc. Use the calendar to note the due dates of big projects, standardized testing dates and vacation days.

Start having kids select their clothes the night before

Picking out clothes is a great way for children to develop organizational habits. Having everything picked out and ready the day before also helps cut down on school-day morning rushes and last-minute scrambles.

A better school year begins right NOW!

Learning how to have a successful school year starts with the right preparation and a positive attitude. It’s never too early to start thinking about getting back into the school-year routine; the earlier you start, the smoother the back-to-school transition will be on both you and your child.

Wishing all the Rowan County students a great school year with much success!

Toi N. Degree, Family & Consumer Education Agent with North Carolina Cooperative Extension may be reached by phone at 704-216-8970 or by email attoi_degree@ncsu.edu.

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