Steps for school day success

It's suggests that parents start prepping their children a couple of weeks before school actually starts so that the transition is easier.

It’s that time of year again! School is either starting soon or has just started, and we all know how hard it is to get your kids back into a routine. It’s important for parents to know the steps to success in order to get their children off on the right foot in school, according to Therese Sirles, R.N., director of the Children’s Hospital Foundation Office of Child Advocacy at Norton Children’s Hospital.

Sirles suggests that parents start prepping their children a couple of weeks before school actually starts so that the transition is easier. Especially, she says, when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep.

“Parents should start putting kids to bed earlier a couple of weeks before school begins – not the night before. Elementary school students need about 10 hours of sleep per night, and high school students should get about 8½ to 9½,” Sirles said. “Research has shown that when students don’t get proper sleep, it reduces attentiveness in school and lowers grades, as well as energy levels.”

Eating a balanced breakfast also plays a big role in keeping energy level up throughout the school day. Just like you can’t rent a car without fuel, you cannot send your child to school without food. Sirles suggests healthy options to start the day, such as yogurt with granola and fruit or a waffle with peanut butter. For lunch, Sirles says, preparedness is key.

“Being prepared really helps so that you aren’t rushing in the mornings,” she said. “On Sundays, lay out some ingredients and go ahead and make sandwiches and healthy snacks for the whole week. That way, you can just grab them from the refrigerator each morning and head out the door.”

Finally, end the day with a dinner that brings the family together. It is important for children to eat dinner with parents and siblings to stay connected, since everyone is scattered at work and school during the day. Parental involvement is one of the most important factors in a child’s success. Making sure your child’s homework is done, he or she is well fed and has time to discuss the day will ensure both you and your child feel prepared to tackle the school week ahead.


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