8 Tips To Make Back-To-School Transition Easy From our Occupational Therapists.
Back-to-School time is an exciting and highly anticipated return for many students; however, it can also be an over-stimulating and overwhelming experience. Here are a few strategies and suggestions to continue to ease the transition back-to-school for your child and family:
- Make sure your child is well-prepared for what to expect. Before returning to school it may be helpful to visit the new school or new classroom so that your child can familiarize himself or herself with the environment. If possible, point out noteworthy spaces such as the bathroom, cubbies, or “cool down” corner; take pictures if you can! Reading a book or creating an individualized social story about going back to school is another great way to prepare your child for this transition. Choose or create stories that highlight all the fun and exciting aspects of school that your child will get to experience during the upcoming year! Including photos of the new building or classroom and teacher can help to reduce anxiety surrounding the end of summer transition.
- Establish a bedtime and morning routine. A week before school starts, help your child get back into the swing of weekday school routines by setting up an appropriate sleep and wake schedule. If your child has been staying up later over summer break or vacation, readjust those sleep-wake cycles by getting to bed and waking up 10-15 minutes earlier per day until they are into a healthy hourly range. It is essential that children receive the recommended amount of sleep each night in order to promote energy and attention levels needed for optimal functioning in the classroom. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2017) provide the following recommendations:
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