Good Habits to Get Into for a New School Year
By Paul Rothbart
When kids head back to school their weekdays change significantly. Gone for now are the lazy days of summer when sleeping late, staying up late, and nothing but leisure time are the rules. It can be a challenging transition and you want your kids to get off to a good start. The time to prepare is before the first day of school. Take a couple of weeks and help your children get into good habits for scholastic success.
Getting Good Sleep
Sleep is always important. Kids need sleep to grow and to stay healthy. It's also important for young minds that are learning. Focus wavers when a student is tired during the day. No one does their best work without good sleep. It's difficult to just flip a switch and change sleep habits overnight. Give your children a week or two to get used to going to bed and getting up earlier. By the time the first day of school arrives, they will be adjusted to their new schedule and be ready to face the challenges of the new year.
Eating a Good Breakfast
During the summer when they get up later, many kids skip breakfast and have brunch or jump right to lunch. This is fine as they usually eat right after waking up. But when getting up early for school, waiting until lunch to eat a substantial meal is a mistake. The body and brain need energy to function properly. Make sure your children wake up early enough to eat a satisfying, nutritious breakfast.
Eating a Good Lunch
Once school starts, lunch rises in importance. Kids need a midday meal to fuel their afternoon classes, homework, and after-school activities. The hot lunches sold by most schools are planned to be healthy. But if you want to be sure your children are getting the nutrients they need, pack them a healthy lunch each day. Make it fun by buying them a colorful lunch box, with a theme they like. When it's time for dinner, you can take comfort that your kids already had two good meals and you are now providing them with their third.
Don't Let Them Overdo Activities
Extracurricular activities are an important part of a child's growth and education. Sports, band, and various clubs teach important skills and provide social stimulation. But don't let your children spread themselves too thin. Too many activities can be overwhelming and take time away from schoolwork. Kids need activities but help them manage their time.
Going back to school can be challenging for kids. Help them develop these good habits before the first day and they get off to a good start and build momentum that will help carry them all the way through a successful school year.
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