Six tips for boosting back-to-school success

Published 7:00 pm Sunday, July 8, 2012

(ARA) – Excitement, anticipation, anxiety – back-to-school time is filled with many emotions for both kids and parents. By planning ahead, parents can make gearing up for the start of the school year a fun experience that eases the transition while boosting enthusiasm.

Consider the six ideas below to help position students for success before heading back to the classroom:

1. Set a schedule now

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New teachers, classmates, homework and other challenges may create some apprehension and nervousness during the first couple weeks of school. Stay positive and explain that some anxiety is normal and that everyone needs time to adjust to new things. Help reduce stress by creating a daily routine before school. Checklists and charts allow children to be organized and get into a schedule. For instance, a set time for homework, snack time, free time and bed time are good things to have on a schedule.

2. Shop for school supplies together

Seeing all the new trends and designs that stores have to offer for back-to-school supplies can be really exciting for children. Allow them to personalize their supplies and feel excited about using them. A few new outfits also provide kids with a boost of encouragement and confidence for the new school year.

3. Hold a family celebration

Start an annual tradition that celebrates the start of the school year. For example, have a family cookout with hotdogs and s’mores the weekend before school starts. This helps build excitement for the new school year, but also gives them a relaxed setting to talk about any back-to-school anxiety they may be feeling.

4. Set up a homework area

This area should be organized, quiet and well-lit. You should also allow your child to personalize this space to make it more appealing and fun, without providing distractions. Some items you might want to incorporate in this area are a dictionary, atlas, calculator, art supplies, paper and pencils. Make sure to have plenty of snacks ready for homework time to avoid the distraction of a grumbling belly. Choosing a snack that offers protein, such as cheese and crackers or an apple with peanut butter will keep them satisfied until dinner.

5. Stock up on sensible snacks

After a long day at school, kids are hungry and need snacks that satisfy them through all their homework assignments and other after-school activities. Stock up on a variety of wholesome, non-perishable snacks that you can keep on hand year-round. For example, Lance now offers more than 20 varieties of sandwich crackers, including whole grain, granola and all-natural varieties. All Lance Sandwich Crackers are made with real peanut butter or cheese fillings, and contain no preservatives, no high-fructose corn syrup and zero grams of trans fat.

6. Review what the school requires

Don’t forget the basics. Review all medical documents that pertain to annual physicals and immunizations and get the information to the school for your child’s file. Also, make the teacher and school nurse aware of any conditions your child may have such as allergies, chronic medical conditions or special learning accommodations. Doing this ahead of time helps ease back-to-school stress for Mom and Dad, too.

For additional tips on how to get your family ready for back-to-school time, visit the Lance Snacks Pinterest page.