Back-to-school time can be exciting and stressful for parents. After a long summer, children look forward to seeing their friends and meeting their teachers. Parents look forward to getting back into a daily routine. Whether your child is returning to school in person or virtually, our back-to-school tips and tricks can make the process smooth and successful.
Start the sleep routine early
Getting into the school routine takes time. Successful back-to-school preparation involves starting the routine at least a week before school starts. Parents can help their children by initiating an earlier bedtime and wake-up time. Starting the routine before school starts will make the first day of school less stressful.
Attend open house events
If your child's school has an open house or a meet-the-teacher event before school starts, take time to attend. When you're at the event, introduce yourself and your child. Help the teacher remember your child by sharing a unique detail. Your child will be more comfortable and confident knowing who will be at the front of the classroom. Get information from the teacher about necessary school supplies, too.
If your child is attending middle or high school for the first time, use the open house event to learn the path to all classes. Arrange to attend the events with friends if your child has anxiety about starting school.
Send your child to school with the necessary supplies
Teachers have a significant amount of curriculum to cover each year, so many get started on the first day. Ensure your child is prepared by sending necessary supplies like pencils, notebooks and charged laptops. Your child will appreciate having the necessities.
Buy a planner
Children in middle school and high school benefit from having a planner to help them organize their time. Help your child by showing them how to write down homework assignments daily. Encourage the behavior by checking the planner each evening and ensuring it's in your child's backpack each morning.
Create an after-school routine
A helpful back-to-school tip for students of all ages is to have an after-school routine. It should include time away from screens so they can focus on homework. Set aside 20 minutes for reading a book of choice. Studies show that children who read a book of choice for at least 20 consecutive minutes become better thinkers, writers and speakers. The key to making this time enjoyable is letting students pick their own books. If you have younger children, use that time to read aloud to them.
Designate a distraction-free homework spot
Setting aside time for homework is important, and students also need a distraction-free place to do their work. Children will need a place to charge their laptops, especially if they attend a school with one-to-one technology. Their homework spot should have necessary supplies like paper, pencils and a calculator. Make the homework spot a phone-free location (including yours) so your child can fully focus on their assignments.
Talk to your child about school
Children are experiencing anxiety and mental health disorders at surprising rates. A helpful back-to-school tip for parents is to talk to your child every day about school, friends and emotions. When you talk to them daily, you can learn about your child's stress levels and help them manage what's happening at school. Don't simply ask, "How was school?" Instead, ask open-ended questions that encourage discussion, such as "What was the best part of your day?" or "What do you like about your favorite teacher?"
Communicate with your child's teacher
Most schools have several communication methods for parents and teachers. If your child has any special situations, take the time to communicate with the teachers. Use email so you have records in writing. Give teachers time to respond before sending follow-up emails, as they are busy working with children and not checking email throughout the day.
As many middle and high schools use online platforms like Google Classroom or Canvas, you can ask teachers to include your email address so you receive alerts about new assignments and homework. At home, ask your child to show you that they've submitted their online assignments and check off the work in their planners.
Rely on Notion Sensors to monitor and protect your kids at home
One of the biggest changes of the school season may be that kids are home alone for a few hours after school while you're still at work. This can cause some anxiety, but Notion can help. While you're at work, you can protect your peace of mind by adding Notion Sensors to key locations around your home. When you place a Notion Sensor on your doors, you can receive notifications when your children return home. Placing a Notion Sensor on the door of your liquor cabinet lets you know if your children open it. You can also use Notion Sensors to track water leaks, carbon monoxide or smoke problems, or issues with temperature changes.
Back-to-school season can be a stressful time of change, but with Notion Sensors and these other back-to-school tips for parents, you'll be settled into your new routine in no time.