Best Practices for Transitioning Back to School
You have had a fun-filled summer break, and now it’s time for your children to go back to school. All that fun probably meant:
- Staying up later in the evenings
- Extra ice cream, popsicles, and snacks
- Sleeping in most mornings to face a care-free unstructured day
There’s no guilt for a relaxed and memory making summer, but please extend grace when your students are having trouble transitioning back to a more regimented schedule.
Here are some tips for the transitions relating to sleep, nutrition and routines.
Sleep is of utmost importance for children to perform well and thrive in school. Studies have shown that children who get at least nine hours of sleep per night have a higher GPA than their fellow students who don’t get enough. Sleep rejuvenates the brain which is essential in memory, concentration, decision making, and social behavior. To transition, try gradually changing bedtimes 30 minutes earlier per day until adequate sleep time is achieved. Abruptly changing bedtime will most likely result in frustration for both you and your child.
Nutrition is the fuel your student uses to succeed at school. Proper diet gives many of the same benefits as adequate sleep. In addition, it produces a healthier body weight resulting in a sense of well-being, lack of discipline problems, and reduces the risk of illness and disease. Give your student a great start with a healthy breakfast. It’s important to include foods high in protein, fiber, and vitamins. There are many quick foods to aid you in getting out the door on time in addition to giving your children a good start. Be creative when packing lunches sneaking in healthy, lower sugar, lower fat foods. Here is a link to show the benefits of “Eating the Rainbow of Healthy Foods.” This is a great resource showing white, yellow, red, purple, and green foods and specific health benefits for each category.
Routines are the plans in motion that are predictable and familiar. They provide the boundaries and goals for successful school days. These plans help eliminate arguments when facing the hustle and bustle of a busy school morning. A chart can be helpful for younger children as a visual for what they can expect at bedtime and morning time. Older children might find that a calendar or planner is more relatable for the plan. Give your kids the security of knowing what to expect. To eliminate clothing decisions in the morning, plan outfits and lay them out before bedtime.