Preparing for the New School Year

Summer is ending. For many, this only means one thing.  It’s back to school time! The adjustment from summer break to school schedule can be a daunting task for any parent and child duo.  Here are a few tips to help you prepare for the fresh start of the school year:


But first…August Adjustments
The summer months bring sunny days and warm nights full of activities and wonder. During the month of August, it is critical to begin adjusting the bedtime routine for scholars. According to the National Sleep Foundation, school-aged children between the ages of 6-13 need about 9-11 hours. Help your child adjust to the early bedtime routine by adding 15-30 minutes a night until they have reached an optimal amount of sleep hours a night.


Parent Engagement: Begin with the End in Mind
The start of the school year happens well before September. As the summer comes to a close, schools hold Parent Nights to welcome new and returning families and share their goals for the school year. Parental engagement and participation in decision-making are critical to the success of a school and its students. Plan to be involved in your child’s educational journey by being engaged in school activities and attending informational meetings at the school.


September is for Setting Goals!
We have all been there. Whether losing a few pounds, or setting our eyes on a job opportunity, we calculated our every step towards the finish line. To maximize the entire year, have your child identify 1-3 goals they would like to accomplish over the course of the school year. This could fall within a wide range of accomplishments; remember, what you consider a small victory may be a huge feat for your child. It is important to encourage all levels of goal setting! Here are four tips for setting effective goals with your scholar.

Material Things Do Matter!
Pencils. Paper. Notebooks. Uniforms. These materials play an integral part in school preparedness. See your scholar’s teacher(s) to ensure you have a complete list of school supplies needed.  Check your weekly newspaper ads for the best deals. Some local organizations also offer free school supplies to community members, like the Free Backpack Giveaway on August 24th, or you can register for the She’s Happy Foundation free event to get a backpack filled with supplies and a back-to-school haircut for your child. For school uniform deals, see your school’s office manager for a list of vendors that carry the uniforms your child needs.

Finally, don’t forget the joy of learning!
There are many factors that help your child get ready for the school year.  During this preparation, remember to keep the joy in having a fresh start and a new year. Parents and teachers are the major influencers of how children perceive school. While school is very serious, it must be enjoyable to be impactful. Share your excitement for the new things your student will learn and ask them to share with you what they are excited about in the coming school year. This will help them to focus on the positive experience that school is. Remember, when it comes to learning, it’s up to us to show young children how exciting and fun it can be! Their journey is only beginning, and I hope these resources help you feel prepared for the upcoming school year and beyond.


Mallory Aferi
Author
Mallory Aferi
Mallory Aferi has served in the education field for over 10 years in grades K-4. She has been with Cornerstone since 2012, beginning as a second grade teacher, and now as Assistant Principal for the Lincoln-King Academy Adams-Young Campus. In her spare time, Mrs. Aferi enjoys traveling with her family, attending music concerts, and reading. She is currently reading James C. Hunter's "The Servant: A Simple Story About the True Essence of Leadership " to prepare for the school year.