The new school year brings excitement and opportunity for kids returning to the classroom. For many, it also brings a little nervousness as well. Concerns about friends, homework, and an often hectic schedule can overwhelm children, particularly at the start of a new year. These organizing tips can help them (and you) get off to a strong start!
- Use a family calendar for school events, games, and activities.
- Allow for down time each day. Give kids a chance to decompress, and to learn to be comfortable when alone with their thoughts.
- Let good habits provide a positive framework: get enough sleep, eat health-supporting foods, and exercise daily. Avoid the “last minute rush” by preparing lunches and backpacks the night before, and by allowing enough time to get ready. Limit electronics at night (no cell phones at bedtime) for improved sleep.
- Designate one central location for school papers and supplies: whether it’s a nook in the kitchen or a desk in a study area, know where to keep (and find) essential papers and information.
- Keep homework in folders or binders that are easy to use: write down due dates and specific homework assignments on one piece of paper, even if this information is available online. Writing it down helps clarify and remind students of what is due.
- Don’t try to be perfect. Do your best, be honest, and meet responsibilities. That’s enough!
If students are nervous or shy, remind them of how powerful kindness can be. Ask them to keep an eye out for someone else who might be lonely or sad, and to share their kind words often. This puts them in control and creates social situations that are positive and reaffirming to everyone. Have a great year!