Back to school is already here for some families and others will experience this transition within the next couple of weeks. Any parent knows that the transition can bring some challenges although it is often an exciting time.

Following are a few ways that you, as a parent, can help to improve the back to school transition for your kids. Following these suggestions will likely make the transition go much more smoothly for you, as well. If your kids are already in school, committing to these tips can make the beginning of the school year at least somewhat more manageable.

1. Begin sticking to a set bedtime and wake up time.

  • It is important for kids to get enough sleep. Sleep impacts the brain’s functioning, attention, behavior, and learning.
  • Decide on an appropriate bedtime and wake up time and just keep trying to stick with those selected times (which should be the times that your child will need to go to sleep and wake up during school).
  • Try working on this habit beginning at least two weeks prior to the start of school or beginning right now if that time has already passed.

Is Your Child Getting Enough Sleep Infographic

Image Credit: National Jewish Health

2. Begin a more structured evening routine

  • Routines help children (and adults) in many ways. Scientific research supports the use of visual schedules for children. You can create a schedule that includes words and/or pictures of the activities that are included in your child’s evening routine. The routine should include all of the activities that you would like your child to do before bed including new habits you would like the child to build.
  • Here is a sample bedtime routine although you can modify the routine and should make it individualized to suit your child’s needs, interests, and your family lifestyle.

Bedtime Routine

[Image credit: PopSugar]

3. Read, Read, Read

  • I know that I have made this suggestion (to “read, read, read”) in a previous post some time ago, but I strongly encourage parents to help their kids get into the habit of reading. Without accurate and fluency in reading, many academic and life activities will be challenging. Plus, so many benefits could arise from your child being a competent reader. For instance, your child is able to learn so much more from books than simply what he encounters on a day to day basis. Your child can increase in self-confidence and once he feels like reading is not too difficult, he may start reading willingly more and more. This has lots of benefits for his future.

[Image Credit: A. Greer]

[Image Credit: Back to School: © maglara via Fotalia]