Most schools in our area are back in session at the end of this month. The following back-to-school tips offered by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) will help your family get ready for the big event.
Before the School Year Starts
NASP recommends easing children back into their school mealtime and bedtime routines a week or so before the actual start of school to get them reacquainted with those routines. The organization also recommends getting organized by designating an area for backpacks and school paperwork.
For the first few weeks especially, building extra time into the morning schedule will help alleviate fears of being late for both kids and parents. And for parents, the NASP recommends keeping their schedules open the first week of school if possible so that they are ready and available to help their children ease into the school year.
When it comes to backpack safety, the AAP recommends to:
- Select a backpack that has wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back.
- Pack the backpack light and organize the backpack so that all compartments are used. Pack heavier items closest to the center of the back. A child’s backpack should never weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of his or her body weight.
- Use both shoulder straps at all times to protect from strained muscles. If the school allows, consider a rolling backpack for those students who frequently have to carry heavy loads.
Developing Good Study Habits
Form good homework and study habits early to ensure academic success. The AAP suggests a number of different ways to develop good study and homework habits:
- Children need a permanent, homework-friendly work area in their bedroom or other part of the home that is quiet, doesn’t have distractions and promotes studying.
- Keep the TV off while homework is being done.
- Be available to answer questions and provide help, but never do your child’s homework for him or her.
- Allow your child to take short breaks to alleviate eye, neck and brain fatigue while studying. Encourage them to move around and stretch periodically.
Read more back-to-school tips from the AAP and the NASP to ensure a successful and stress-free transition into the 2013-14 school year!