It’s that time of year again! School is either starting soon or has just started, and we all know how hard it is to get your kids back into a routine. It’s important for parents to know the steps to success in order to get their children off on the right foot in school.
According to experts at Norton Children’s Prevention and Wellness, parents should start prepping their children a couple of weeks before school actually starts so that the transition is easier, especially when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep.
“Kids should be going to bed earlier during the weeks leading up to school,” says Jenita Lyons, manager of health and wellness for Norton Children’s Prevention & Wellness. Elementary school students need about 10 hours of sleep per night, and high school students should get about 8.5 – 9.5 hours of sleep per night.
“When kids don’t get enough sleep, they don’t concentrate as well in class,” says Lyons. “It can lead to lower grades and decreased energy during the school day.”
Eating a balanced breakfast also plays a big role in keeping energy level up throughout the school day. Just like you can’t rent a car without fuel, you cannot send your child to school without food. Kids should start with a healthy breakfast, such as yogurt with granola and fruit or a waffle with peanut butter.
For lunch, preparedness is key to avoid rushing in the mornings. On Sundays, lay out ingredients and make sandwiches and healthy snacks for the entire week. This makes it easier to grab food from the refrigerator each morning and head out the door.
Finally, end the day with a dinner that brings the family together. It is important for children to eat dinner with parents and siblings to stay connected, since everyone is scattered at work and school during the day. Parental involvement is one of the most important factors in a child’s success. Making sure your child’s homework is done, he or she is well fed and has time to discuss the day will ensure both you and your child feel prepared to tackle the school week ahead.