Hopefully everyone has had a great summer. Preparing kids for going back to school can be both exciting and challenging. Here are some tips to help make the transition smoother and more enjoyable for them:

  1. Establish a Routine: Gradually reintroduce the school routine a few weeks before the school starts. Set consistent wake-up and bedtime hours to help them adjust their internal clocks. For detailed advice please look at my blog on Sleep Guidelines for Children and Teens that can be found on the ToplineMD website.
  2. Create a Calendar: Make a fun and colorful calendar that counts down the days until school starts. This can build anticipation and excitement for the upcoming year. This can live in their room or on a bulletin board in the command center of your home.
  3. School Supplies Shopping: Take your child shopping for school supplies together. Let them pick out some of their favorite items like notebooks, pencils, or a backpack. It helps build excitement and ownership over their belongings.
  4. Talk About School: Initiate open conversations about school with your child. Ask them about their feelings, expectations, and any concerns they may have. Be supportive and reassuring, addressing any fears or worries they may express.
  5. Visit the School: If possible, visit the school before the academic year begins. Familiarize them with the surroundings, show them their classrooms, and let them spend some time on the playground.
  6. Meet the Teachers: Attend any orientation or meet-and-greet events to introduce your child to their new teachers. This helps establish a positive relationship from the beginning.
  7. Review Academic Material: If your child had any summer homework or assignments, make sure they’ve completed them. Take time to review important concepts from the previous grade if needed.
  8. Encourage Reading: Encourage reading during the summer months to keep their minds engaged and ready for the academic challenges ahead.
  9. Healthy Sleep and Diet: Ensure your child gets sufficient sleep and follows a balanced diet. Proper rest and nutrition are crucial for their physical and mental well-being.
  10. Set Goals: Help your child set achievable goals for the upcoming school year. It could be anything from making new friends to improving in a specific subject.
  11. Limit Screen Time: Gradually reduce excessive screen time during the summer to ease them into a more focused and disciplined environment for learning.
  12. Organize Home Space: Set up a designated area at home for homework and studying. Keep it organized and free from distractions.
  13. Encourage Independence: Foster independence by letting your child take responsibility for their belongings and tasks, like packing their backpack or making their lunch.
  14. Positive Attitude: Maintain a positive attitude about school and learning. Be enthusiastic and show excitement for the start of the new academic year.
  15. Celebrate the Start: On the first day of school, make the morning special. Prepare a favorite breakfast, take photos, and send them off with love and encouragement.
  16. Don’t forget school and sports physicals: In the state of Florida school physical forms and immunization forms are required for entry into kindergarten and seventh grade. You will also need these forms if your child is transferring from public to private school, private school to public school, or if this is their first year in the Florida School System. Dr. Bergman still recommends that your child have annual checkups including vision, hearing, and dental care. If your child is playing competitive athletics they will need a sports physical EL2 packet. Don’t forget school medication forms for those children that need to take medication during school hours.

Remember that each child is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Be patient and supportive, and most importantly, be available to listen to your child’s needs and concerns throughout the back-to-school process.