Back-To-School Time

Help make going back a breeze

childrenBy Kathryn M. Miller ~ As summer vacations wind down and back-to-school time approaches, there are a number of ways to help children get back into the swing of things and ready for a successful school year.

  • Re-establish or create new routines – Before school starts is the perfect time to re-establish and create new routines. Make sure children start going to bed earlier and waking up earlier, so he or she is ready for the first day.
  • Get organized – Gather school supplies and go over their reading list to help them feel organized and prepared.
  • Start new traditions – Prior to the first day of school, plan something special for children – whether it’s going out for a celebratory meal, leaving an encouraging note in his backpack or buying a small gift to commemorate the first day.
  • Eat a healthier diet – By removing sugary foods and incorporating healthier foods into the diet, parents may be able to reduce a child’s stress levels. Consider fruit, veggies and dip, nuts, cheese, yogurt or a glass of milk as snacks. Check the school cafeteria menu for the month and plan on packing lunch on the days when the main course is less than appealing.
  • Meet the teacher – Attending back-to-school night gives children the opportunity to meet their teachers and classmates and see their new classroom.
  •  Beat first day jitters – Remind children that there are probably a lot of students who are uneasy about the first day of school. Point out the positive aspects of starting school –she’ll see old friends and meet new ones – and refresh her positive memories about previous years.
  • Sign up for extracurriculars – After-school programs, such as Girls on the Run (, a local non-profit dedicated to building confidence through running, can jump-start a positive attitude about school by promoting confidence and optimism.
  • Stay mentally and physically fit – Exercise is a good way to de-stress. Exercising may reduce anxiety levels, which can also help children fall asleep more easily.
  • Promote learning at home – An environment that is conducive to doing homework is important. Children need a consistent work space that is quiet, without distractions and promotes study. Checklists, timers and parental supervision can help overcome homework problems, and free online resources such as Khan Academy ( can assist students and parents alike.

Classes begin on August 10 in both the Paradise Valley Unified ( and Scottsdale Unified School District ( |CST


Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics; Girls on the Run; PvSchools

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