Preparation for the First Day
- Get your child back in the mental mindset of reading. Older children can get ahead by reading assigned books before school starts.
- Adjust bedtime by an hour every few days until you’re back to the regular bedtime. Get back to the correct awakening time by adjusting the alarm clock bit by bit.
- Help your child remember positive school experiences in the past to help conquer nerves. Normalize any nervousness. Your child isn’t the first person to have first day of school anxiety.
- Get a well-fitted backpack for your child. The bottom should fit at the waist, ideally with a strap that wraps around the waist. Make sure it’s padded on the back and shoulders. He shouldn’t carry more than 10-20% of his body weight in the backpack.
- Teach your child bus safety. Seat belts should be used if they are available. Staying in view of the bus driver means your child will be seen. Teach her not to walk behind the bus for safety.
- Make sure you child eats breakfast. Protein is ideal. Stick to snacks that aren’t sugary.
- Create a good homework space. No phones or devices when it’s homework time. Set up a distraction-free zone so your child can get down to business. Breaks are okay and important when there’s a lot of homework to be done.
School Start Times
The AAP recommends that middle and high schools should not commence before 8:30 a.m. Adolescents and teens need the extra hours of sleep. Their bodies aren’t ready for sleep before 10 p.m. or 11 p.m. so it’s tough for them to get enough sleep for an early school start.
Listen as Dr. Katherine Williamson joins Melanie Cole, MS, to share tips to get your child back in the school groove.