19 Aug 5 Steps for BTS
Summer is nearly over and fall is on the way, which means school will be starting. Since children are still pre-occupied with playing and school is not even on their minds, so how can a parent prepare their child to return to school?
1. Establish a Regular Bedtime Schedule. If your family does not maintain the habit of a normal sleep time year-round, then a few weeks before school resumes gradually break your children’s relaxed bedtimes. This will ease their body into the transition. Send your child to bed a half hour earlier each night until your child reaches the required regular bedtime.
Why is establishing a regular bedtime schedule and routine important? The link among sleep deprivation and learning are showcased in the research by the National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research. Sixty percent of grade school and high school students report being tired at school and 15 percent of those actually fell asleep in class.
Why do both of my children seem to need different amounts of sleep? Keep in mind that each child’s sleep requirements are different. According to the National Sleep Foundation, on average children between 5 years-old and 10 years-old need between 10 and 11 hours a sleep per night, versus pre-teens and teens, 10 to 17 years-old, who require 8.5 to 9.25 hours of sleep a night.
2. Develop a Bedtime Ritual. – Experts recommend keeping your child’s bedtime schedule and routine consistent and stress-free as possible. Requiring a regular time for bed can be less stressful when parents develop a plan to wind down the day. The routine could become a highlight of everyone’s day. Here a few examples to incorporate into your evening routine:
- Power off all electronic devices, computers, and phones one hour before turning in for the night.
- Ensure homework, textbooks, materials, and necessary items are packed for school.
- Turn down the lighting to prepare the brain and body for slowing down.
- Play soothing music.
- Provide a special doll, toy, stuffed animal, or blanket to sleep with, depending upon the child’s age.
- Layout clothes, shoes, and everything to be worn the next day.
- Take a bath or shower to ease the morning routine and to relax. If a bath or shower wakes up your child, then delay until morning.
- Put pajamas on. Wash face and brush teeth. Go to the restroom.
- Alternate reading to each other. Your child selects a book or chapter for you both to read.
- Incorporate fitness into bedtime. Together perform some relaxing yoga or Pilates poses.
- Meditate or pray.
- End the evening with wishing your child sweet dreams.
3. Create a Stimulating Environment and System for Studying. Before school starts develop a studious environment, a homework routine, and study system to create a
foundation for learning. What time will your child begin their homework each day? Have a plan to review the daily homework agenda together, discussing the assignment and requirements. Teach project and time management skills by creating a system to handle the growing work load as their school assignments increase.
4. Update their School Wardrobe. Almost like clockwork children seem to outgrow their clothes each season. Normally the most exciting part of returning to school for kids is seeing their friends and wearing their new clothes.
5. Talk about Starting School. Attending a new school or even a starting new grade can be stressful for a child. Ask if they have any questions. Addressing their curiosity and concerns can ease their mind. Transitioning from summer vacation to school is not an easy process for most children. We hope these five steps will help you and your child prepare and excel in the upcoming school year.
Do you have other ideas?