Back To School!

Well, despite the record-breaking temperatures here in Colorado, it’s that time of year again…back to school! Can you believe it’s only a few weeks away for some students? Whether you are a parent, babysitter/nanny, or other type of caretaker, you play an important role in a child’s transition back to school from summer break!  The following are some tips for helping the child in your life transition smoothly back into school, and experience success throughout the school year.

First of all, nutrition is essential for a student’s academic performance.  Healthy, balanced meals may help a child achieve better grades, so pack your child something yummy and nutritious!  If your child’s meals are provided at school, help your child understand smart meal choices to make when away from home.

Another important step for helping your child transition back to school is to connect with your child’s teachers, keeping the lines of communication open with the school.  If possible, be involved in your child’s school.  For example, you could attend school events (sports, concerts, fairs, etc.), go to parent-teacher conferences, and volunteer at the school.  If you see signs that your child is struggling with homework and/or the work completed at school, contact the teacher(s) right away. Most teachers love good communication. If there are language barriers between you and your child’s school, ask for help. Chances are that there is someone at the school who can assist you!

There are several ways to help your child if he/she is nervous about returning to school after summer break.  Allow your child time to adjust to his/her new schedule and school environment.  Talk about the upcoming transition. Ask them what they are thinking about and feeling. Normalize your child’s feelings of anxiety and concern by reminding them that most people feel nervous when starting a new adventure.  Emphasize the positive aspects of returning to school, such as meeting new friends and teachers and being involved in new, fun activities.  Keep open communication with your child by listening to his/her concerns.  Engage in a consistent school-night routine, including a consistent time and place for doing homework.  Many children like working alongside their parents. You always have work you can be doing (right?), so create a 30 minute work space for you and the kids! Keep open communication with your child’s teachers and advocate for your child’s success in the classroom.

And, as always, make sure your child knows your safety rules for getting to and from school, such as only riding in a car only with someone of whom you approve.

Wishing you and your family a really great year of learning!

                .—Jennie Tuttle