It's that time of year again and our kids are now all back at school. The transition from the late nights and lazy summer days is often a difficult one for parents and children to manage, so how can you make it easier? Here are 5 simple ways to get this school year off to a good start.
1 - Bedtime
During the summer holidays, our children often stay up later but when we are back to term time, it's a must to ensure children are in bed early and getting enough sleep, ready to face the day's challenges ahead of them. Research has proven that children's brains work more effectively when the have had the right amount of sleep. To ensure your child is on top form, check out the National Sleep Foundation's guide to how much sleep kids need.
2 - New Year, New Goals
In the coming weeks, new after-school clubs and extra-curricular activities will be on offer. Why not encourage your child to try something new, like learning a new instrument, or trying a new sport? This can be especially exciting for younger children, as involving them in the choice of activities can make them feel like a 'big kid'. Exercise and sport will help create the balance kids need.
3 - Screen Time
During the summer holidays, we often let our children have a lot more time in front of screens. Whether it is the TV, tablets, phones, or laptops, screen time needs to be managed during term time. A good rule to establish for all ages is homework first THEN screen time afterwards. Remember also that kids also need time away from screens to wind down at the end of the evening, before bedtime. Many studies have shown that poor sleep quality has been linked to using devices and watching TV immediately before bedtime. It is important to establish clear rules, like removing tablets and phones from bedrooms after a certain time. This helps to create a healthy balance between using electronics and well-being. Limiting to a certain amount of screen time per week is a good idea - in our house we use Tech Time Tokens, as seen in this post by Teach Beside Me.
4 - Be Prepared
Help your child establish good routines by preparing everything the night before. Make sure they have everything they need packed in their bag. Do they have all of their books? Have they got that form the teacher needs? Do they have their PE kit ready? Laying out everything the night before also makes mornings run more smoothly. No-one likes the stress of being told something is needed as you are heading out of the door!
5 - Rewards & Treats
Make sure your kids know their efforts have been noticed by creating a reward system. Many bargain stores have cheap rewards charts, like this one from Mr Price, making it easy for you to steer your child in the right direction. In our house, we typically have lists like complete homework, make your bed, eat all of your meals, put your toys away, get to bed by 8pm... You can easily create a routine and reward your child by using this simple system.
Now that you have it all organised and the kids are all at school, sit down and enjoy that nice HOT coffee...!
Emerald Education Centre offers online tutoring and in-person classes in Maths & English for children 4-14 yrs old. For more information, visit our website at elainelingard.wix.com/emeraldeducation.