Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Be Ready for Back to School

It's almost that time again - school starts next week!  Ready or not, it's time to prepare for getting up early, doing homework, and diving into those after school activities.  We've got a few helpful tips to help you be ready for school!

  • Gradually move towards waking up and going to bed earlier.  Over the summer, most kids stay up and sleep in a little (or a lot) later than they do during the school year.  If you wait until the night before the first day of school to go back to an earlier bedtime, kids will still be used to the later bedtime and won't be tired yet.  They may have trouble sleeping if the routine changes suddenly.  Likewise, waiting until the first day of school to get up early could leave your child groggy and grouchy.  Help them gradually adjust to the school routine rather than going "cold turkey."
  • Clean out that backpack.  There's nothing worse than finding a stinky, moldy sandwich the night before school starts.  The earlier you clean out last year's backpack, the more time it'll be able to air out before the first day of school.
  • Take advantage of back-to-school shopping deals.  We agree, those back-to-school ads start way too early!  Though you've probably been spending most of the summer tuning them out, now is the time to pay a little closer attention.  Also, some teachers send students lists of supplies they should have before school starts, so keep an eye out for teacher suggestions.
  • Maintain an up-to-date family calendar.  Include after-school activities, sports, play dates, vacations,  family occasions, and even grown-up plans.  If everybody's activities are listed in one place, it's much easier to know where everyone is!  Though your smartphone may be a great resource, you're pretty much the only one with easy access to it, so keep this calendar in a visible place in the house where everyone has easy access to everybody's schedule.
  • And of course, don't forget about those Summer Reading lists!  Before summer started, we worked with the Watertown Public Schools to develop suggested reading lists for kids entering preschool through grade 5.  There's still time to do some last minute reading from those lists!  You can check them out on our website, or come on in to the Children's Department where you'll find them conveniently all shelved together in the Summer Reading section.  And feel free to ask us for advice on other good books to round out summer vacation.
Looking for other tips and ideas?  Check out some of these resources:
  • USA.gov - The official site of the U.S. Government has some helpful tips.
  • NASP - The National Association of School Psychologists offers ideas to help your child be emotionally and psychologically ready for school to start.
  • HealthyChildren.org - This site is put together by the American Academy of Pediatrics and great information about safety, bullying, and developing good study habits.
And remember, even though Summer Reading at the library is over, we'll start a whole array of programs for all ages in the fall!  Check out our online calendar of events to find out when all the fun will happen!

No comments: