“Back to School”
It’s hard to believe that the summer is winding down, and “back to school” has finally arrived. Students are switching gears and getting ready for classroom academics, after-school activities, and the weekend sports that make this time of year both exciting and somewhat stressful. After a summer of great fun, it’s often hard to get back into the school routine. The last few weeks of sleeping late and taking it easy are now replaced with setting alarm clocks, being on time for the school bus, and having a full schedule. Parents also have to switch gears and get organized in order to juggle the busy school year calendar.
As you embark on the new school year, there are some helpful strategies that can make the year a successful one for students and parents alike. A great way to start is to have regular routines, a plan of healthy habits, good communication, and setting of goals.
Establishing routines for the school year will avoid activity overload and help everyone know what’s expected of them. When kids know the weekly routine of homework, extracurricular activities, dinner and computer time, they feel more relaxed and can manage their busy day. A plan of healthy habits is as simple as getting enough sleep, making time for a healthy breakfast, and getting regular exercise. Sleep deprivation affects overall health and learning, so encourage kids to get the sleep they need every night. Have them start ea
ch day with a healthy breakfast to provide the energy and nutrition needed for the demands of the school day. And don’t forget exercise. As the pools and beaches close for the season and the weather turns cooler, we spend more time indoors and less time moving our bodies. It’s important to find fun ways to stay active throughout the year. A great way to focus on these healthy habits is to remove distractions a
nd limit “plugged in” time. Spending less time playing video games or texting will also help kids stay active and better able to focus on academics and “real time” with friends.
Ongoing communication between students and parents will also help kids succeed in school. Parents who encourage and support open lines of communication allow kids to express concerns or problems they are having, come up with solutions, and even set goals they would like to meet. Choosing realistic, yet challenging, goals to work toward is a great way to empower kids. The goal may be academic or sports oriented, auditioning for a theatre group, or improving grades in a certain subject. The purpose of the goal is to have something positive to work toward and persevere, to build confident, and have an end product to feel proud of. Students that meet their goals and celebrate their strengths will have the self-confidence to take on challenges in all areas of life.
School is a place where kids learn and grow academically, but like summer camp, school also provides an environment to develop friendships, learn responsibility, become a team player and communicate effectively. Commitment to managing the school year takes effort from the entire family, but raising a well adjusted, responsible and confident child is worth the effort.
We are so proud of our campers at Iroquois Springs and wish them a school year filled with happiness, personal success and friendship. Get out there and challenge yourself to achieve your personal best. We can’t wait to see you at the camp reunion in December. So until then, study hard, be courageous, do your best, and have fun.