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A Better School Year Begins NOW!

A back to school backpack full of school supplies

When it comes to back-to-school prep, getting kids ready to head back to the classroom involves more than just new school supplies and an updated wardrobe. Kids need to get mentally psyched up for the return to the classroom. But, when do you start back-to school prep? A few days before? Maybe a week?

How about right now? By re-introducing school-year habits and routines well before school begins, and by engaging in activities that kick the brain into high gear, kids naturally shift out of the summer mindset and get ready for a year of learning.

Our 10 Back-To-School Tips help you get your entire family on track for a better school year…starting right now.

  1. Up and At ‘Em. The first bell of the school year rings early—sometimes, much earlier than kids and parents would like. Take the fumbling and grumbling out of school mornings by setting a wake-up schedule now. If kids don’t have an alarm clock, why not get them their own and let them take responsibility for waking up in the morning?
  2. Hit the sheets. Nothing makes an early morning routine worse than a lack of sleep the night before. Plus, kids need a full night’s sleep to stay mentally alert all day in class. Start implementing bedtimes…even for older kids. It makes learning (and morning routines) that much easier.
  3. Good Grub. Research continually shows the importance of eating a healthy breakfast, especially for students in class all day. Without proper morning nutrition, kids can feel drowsy and distracted. You want your kid focused on the teacher, not on his/her growling belly.
  4. What to wear, what to wear. Avoid last-minute searches for green socks, or favourite baseball caps by picking out the next day’s clothes the night before. If you are selecting the wardrobe, give kids a few options and let them choose. They’ll feel a sense of inclusion and responsibility when they feel that they have a say in the decision-making.
  5. I’ll take that to go, please. Unless you pay for school lunches, midday grub usually comes packed from home. Get into the habit of planning lunches the day before, whether it’s leftovers, or simple sandwiches, and take the question mark out of lunchtime meal planning. It’s one less thing that you’ll have to worry about in the morning.
  6. We now return to our regular-scheduled programming. The school day is all about scheduled timing. Start times. End times. Recess. Lunch. As much as possible, follow a schedule that mimics the school day. This includes wake up times, bedtimes, playtimes, TV time, and lunchtime. Don’t forget to make time in the day for learning too!
  7. TV off, homework on. During the school year, TV and computers are kids’ biggest homework distraction. Start eliminating that bad homework habit by turning off the TV during the after-school hours, coming to the table, and engaging in some sort of brain-challenging activity.
  8. Read. Reading is probably the single best way to keep kids mentally active all year long. Plus, it’s a great way for kids to practice sustaining their attention span, to build their vocabulary, and to develop their reading comprehension skills.
  9. Use the ‘S’ word. Help kids get in the school frame of mind by talking about school. How many days are left until the first day? What are the kids looking forward to? What are they nervous about? What is the best memory from last year? Kids may need some conversational prompting, so reference highlights from last year and be sure to keep it positive to build excitement!
  10. Something else? Okay so we could use your help thinking of a 10th item to round out our list! How are you getting your family ready for back-to-school? We’d love to hear your family’s tips! Share your back-to-school ideas in the comments section below. If we pick your idea as our 10th tip, we’ll send you Oxford Learning back-to-school swag!

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