2016-08-01 / OnCall

Shifting to School Schedules

Maggie Ellis, PA-C

Q: Though it seems like summer just started, my kids will be heading back to school soon. What are some ways I can help them prepare for the transition?

A: Saying goodbye to summer is hard! But the first day of school is filled with potential and hope for the year ahead. Capture the excitement by creating a first day of school tradition with: bagels at the bus stop, pictures on the porch, a special breakfast and/or a note in your child’s lunch. Ask your child for ideas for a first day of school tradition! Add fun to your day-to-day routine: Try Taco Tuesdays, Waffle Wednesdays or Fish Fridays. Traditions and routines bring predictability and expectation, which are key elements to success for kids and adults alike.

Encourage your child to try making his or her own lunch. Involving kids in daily tasks builds their independence. Plan to pack lunch more often than buying at school. This is usually a healthier option as well.

Prepare for the many projects and works of art that come home:
• Take a photo of each project and set it aside, or recycle it right away.
• Prepare a binder with page protectors to immediately save the pieces you want to keep.
• Remember you don’t have to keep everything!

Set a theme for the year. If every family focused on kindness, we could have fewer problems with bullying. Help your child think of questions to ask new students.  Each day, ask your child what act of kindness he or she did for another person.

With set expectations and routines, there is ample time for spontaneity and fun! Mix in kindheartedness, and you have the key ingredients for success.

Maggie Ellis, PA-C | Pediatrics, Mount Nittany Physician GroupMaggie Ellis, PA-C | Pediatrics, Mount Nittany Physician Group

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