Back to School

A new school year is upon us. This time of year often brings challenges and stress to both caregivers and children. Tackling these issues early on can ensure we give our children a chance to put their best foot forward in facing the new school year.

After the relative freedom of the vacation, with long, unstructured days, heading back to school is often an unwelcomed routine for children. If possible, caregivers should begin transitioning children into their sleep routine the week before schools reopen. Parents should ensure children are getting a few more hours of sleep during the first week or two of the new school year as the transition tends to make them weary.

TIP: Back to School (and Back to Sleep)

For children entering a school setting for the first time, the beginning of the school year can conjure up feelings of anxiety. Discussion with your child about the purpose of school as well as the experiences they will have there may ease their fear. Perhaps, you can talk about your first day doing something new and how you calmed yourself down. This will let them know that it’s alright to be nervous and that there are ways to reduce their anxiety. Also, visiting your child’s new school and talking about the possible experiences they will have there may help.

All children should have had annual medical, vision and hearing tests during the vacation. If these procedures were not done, caregivers should arrange for them to be conducted within the upcoming weeks. Difficulties children face in the classroom are often a result of physical abnormalities that could have been detected with these screens.

Ensure your child’s homework area is designated and prepared before they bring home their first assignment. Homework should be completed at a cleared table, away from electronic devices and sources of noise (e.g. phones, loud people). Caregivers should be prepared to monitor the completion of homework, with decreasing input as the child gets older. If parents notice the child is struggling with a particular area of study, tutoring or the guidance from a professional should be sought.

For lists of other back to school guidelines, Read More. May you and your child have a productive year!

Read More: Back-to-School Transitions
Back to School Tips

Image: Carlos Porto /


About Traci S. Williams-Nurse

Dr. Traci Williams-Nurse is a licensed psychologist who specialized in child, adolescent and family psychology. Her interests include child development, family functioning, video games and food. She was born and raised in Trinidad & Tobago and currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
This entry was posted in Health Care, Mental Health, School, Stress and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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