Summer always seems to fly by, and now it is time to start setting our children up for a successful transition back to school. So what are some things we can do for a smooth transition?
1. Get a grip on sleep- The value of sleep for children is endless. Research shows that children who routinely get appropriate amounts of sleep show improved attention, behavior, learning, memory, and physical health. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following amounts of sleep based on age:
-infants under 1 year: 12-16hrs
-children 1-2 years: 11-14hrs
-children 3-5 years: 10-13hrs
-children 6-12 years: 9-12hrs
-teens 13-18 years: 8-10hrs
If your child has trouble sleeping, try darkening the room, using a white noise machine, and sticking to a consistent sleep or sleep and nap schedule. Remember, consistency breeds consistency.
2. Practice- There is value to the old saying, “practice makes perfect.” The more familiar your student is with things in his/her control, the less overwhelming a new school year will be. Have a new backpack? Practice climbing out of the car and putting it on. Have new shoes? Practice putting them on and tying or velcroing the laces. Have a new belt? Practice fastening it after using the bathroom. The more independently a student can function, the more confident he or she will be.
3. Consider extracurriculars- Summer is an active time for many, and such activity takes a little more planning during the school year. With time spent in the desk and on the reading rug, many students need extra physical outlets to burn energy at the end of the school day. Consider an after school enrichment your student might enjoy, or joining a sports team, or even stopping at the park on the way home from school. Built-in activity helps minimize frustration and burn-out at home.
I hope this will help your students enter the school year with excitement and confidence!
- Ally Bayard, Guidance Counselor, LPC, NCC