School bells will soon be ringing. But before they do, mom and dad need to do some homework! Help get your child’s year off to a good start by following these tips:
1. Schedule a checkup. If your child hasn’t been to the doctor recently, this is a good time for a well-child visit. The doctor can check your child’s vision, hearing and overall health. If there are any concerns, this is the time to make a plan to address them with the school, particularly if your child is living with a long-term health issue.
- More Help: Is your child on the autism spectrum? Attend our free parenting class “The Spectrum of Autism and Social Skills” December 5 at Hawthorne Elementary School.
2. Adjust your child’s bedtime. Bedtimes often get later during the summer, but children need a good night’s sleep to be at their best. The National Sleep Foundation recommends setting your child’s bedtime incrementally a little earlier and getting your child up incrementally a little earlier each day in the two weeks before school starts. Be sure your kids will be getting the recommended number of hours of sleep for their age group by the time the first day of school arrives.
- More Help: Learn more about the importance of sleep–and how to help your child get enough–from the Practically Perfect Parenting Podcast.
3. Review transportation safety rules. Whether your child will walk to school, ride a bike, take the bus or travel by car, it’s important to go over the safety rules for getting to and from school safety.
4. Create a “launch pad.” The AAP recommends establishing a regular place to keep backpacks, shoes, lunch boxes, mittens (though hopefully we won’t be needing them for a while!) and other items. It makes it easier to get your kids ready on hectic school mornings.
- More Help: Attend our free parenting class “Smoother Mornings,” October 3 at Hawthorne Elementary School.
5. Help your child develop good study habits. Homework teaches kids responsibility and is often a key part of academic success. Setting up an environment conducive to studying and establishing rules for screen time and other distractions will get you started.
- More Help: Attend “Helping with Homework,” a free parenting class, at Paxson Elementary School on October 25.
6. Talk often. It’s helpful for kids to know they have a place to turn to share their concerns, joys, disappointments and fears—about school and everything else going on in their lives. Let your kids know you’re there for them. And be sure to recognize and acknowledge the good things they do.
- More Help: Peer pressure can be one of the biggest challenges children face at school. Learn how to help them respond appropriately through our free parenting class “Helping Your Child Handle Peer Pressure,” November 29 at Paxson Elementary School.
Be watching your newsletter for details about the classes listed here and others in the weeks ahead!