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Archive for August, 2016

Back To School Organizational Tips

As soon as the calendar changes to August, parents and children’s minds turn to back to school. One of the best ways to set your child up for a great school year is to use the last few weeks before school begins to do some planning (and sometimes a little shopping). We have four tips to help you kick off the school year right:

Organize Your Space

Our number one tip is to create an organization station. You’ve probably read this advice on every single back to school list and for good reason. There are many papers, supplies, and books to manage once the school year starts. The way you and your child handle it can help lower or increase stress on school days. We recommend a spot for homework, another for forms, as well as a visible place to hang your child’s weekly and monthly schedules. Try to keep it in the same area as knapsacks and lunch bags are hung to make it a one-stop school station!

Avoid The Spill!

Use a water bottle with a sports lid, especially with elementary age students. It’s typical for kids to leave their water bottles on their desks while they work and if one without a lid falls, which happens too frequently, your child’s work and those around him may get ruined. There is nothing that is more frustrating for a child (and his peers) than needing to redo work because it got soaking wet.

Managing The Keepsakes

Soon your children’s work will be coming home for you to keep. What will you do with it all? How will you keep track of the milestones of the new school year? Planning in advance will help you stay on top of it as well as appreciate it. You may choose a file folder or to take photos or scan the work for a digital keepsake. Another neat way that doesn’t take up a lot of room is to use Mabel’s Labels new My School Years Book; it stores all the best memories from Kindergarten through Grade 12.

Buying Supplies

Unless your child’s school provides a list, don’t worry about shopping for many school supplies. The classroom teacher should let you know within the first week or so what, if anything, would be nice to have. A few pencils or pens, an eraser, a pencil sharpener, and perhaps some markers are likely all your child needs to start; add in a notebook for high school students. You may even have school supplies left over from last year. Check out our recommendations for eco-friendly school gear and how to clean your child’s knapsack.

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10 Tips To Ease The Stress Of Back To School

Transitioning to a new school year can be hard for parents and students alike. There are a lot of unknowns when school begins, and this uncertainty can cause jitters. Here are ten simple but effective strategies you can use to help reduce back to school worries:

  1. Try to connect with your child every night about how their school day went; this is the best time to find out what makes them happy, who they like to play with, and discover any worries that may be on their mind.

  2. Ease worries about the school by visiting it beforehand and traveling the route your child will take to school. This is particularly useful if your child is going to a new school.

  3. Ask your child how they would like to handle the after school and homework routine. Brainstorm together how the evening hours will look.

  4. Write a letter to your child’s teacher or send them an email to share any valuable information you think they need to have about your child (e.g., anxiety, the new student, etc.). You’ll feel better that you’ve shared what’s on your mind, and the teacher will appreciate your insight.

  5. Decide how your family will handle extra-curricular activities and make a schedule that balances the activities with homework time and time to relax.

  6. Adjust the bedtime routine before school starts. Your child has likely been staying up later during the summer but helping them ease back into a regular sleep schedule will reduce stress caused by tiredness.

  7. Try to stay calm about any tension you may be feeling about back to school. Children can feel your tension. Express your confidence in the situation and share stories of other times your child was able to overcome their fear.

  8. Help your child set academic and emotional goals for the upcoming year. Talk about how they can achieve them and how they can be celebrated.

  9. Express your confidence in your child’s ability to make new friends. Let them know it’s normal to be worried about a new class or a new school.

  10. Visit the library or bookstore to get some books about school, moving, making friends or even about bullying. Books give children the words to express their emotions and will help open up meaningful conversations between your and your child.

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