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As the start of school draws near and back to school commercials frequent your television, it’s time to develop your new back to school game plan. Lazy summer days are gone, and juggling homework, music lessons, sports, and social lives are back. At Granite Bay Speech, we want to help you have a smooth back to school transition and provide you with some tips on how to ensure the start of a great school year.

Add contact information for the school office and teachers to your smart phone and computer.
Before the first day of school check your school’s website or call the office for any important information. Obtain back-to-school checklists, important phone numbers, and e-mails such as the principal’s office number, the nurse’s office, and their teacher.

Establish school bedtime and morning routines one week before school starts.
Start a consistent routine of going to bed and waking up at the same time every day a week before schools starts. Sleep is essential for learning and you don’t want your child snoozing at his desk!

Eat protein rather than carbs/sugar.
Be sure to provide protein for breakfast to avoid the sugar rush. This will help your child pay attention all morning. Add proteins to your child’s lunches and snacks; protein provides consistent energy versus carbohydrate and sugar snacks.

Calm the nerves.
If your child is nervous about starting a new school year, remind them that the other students are nervous too. Remind them about their favorite school subjects or activities; friends, lunch and recess always seem to be at the top of most students’ list! If your child is starting a new school, try to attend all orientations available. If you are new to the area, walk around the school campus to help your child become familiar with the location of the bathrooms, the office and their classroom. If your child is nervous, volunteer to help his or her teacher decorate the room before the first day of school. Your teacher will appreciate it! In addition, Back to School nights are a great way for you to learn more about how you can support your child at home.

Another great way to calm the nerves and help your child prepare to go back to school is to read some books. Here are a few of our favorites:
It’s Time for School, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt
Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary
The Night Before Kindergarten and The Night Before 1st Grade by Natasha Wing
First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg
Berenstain Bears Go to School, by Jan Berenstain

Establish a place at home to gather backpacks and homework.
Make sure their backpack is filled with the essentials and leave it in an obvious place the night before school. Develop a routine for after school activities and homework.

Agree on a homework schedule.
Try to establish a set time frame for them to do their homework every day. Allow your child to sit in a chair, beanbag or on their bed as long as they are comfortable. Children are individuals and need individual accommodations. One of my children loved to read with the TV or music on and as long as she completed her homework, it was fine with us. Another child needed the room completely quiet and free of distractions so we accommodated her and made sure she had a clutter free desk and ear plugs. Set a timer and encourage your child to get up and stretch or run in place every 10-20 minutes to maintain maximum attention.

Have resources available to support learning.
Use reference cards or reminders to follow the step by step process for completing a task, (“first do __then do__”). Supplement with speech and language services if you feel you or your child needs tips or customized solutions for less stressful learning. We are only a phone call away when you have questions. Be sure to consult our wonderful website. We have spent thousands of hours organizing and reviewing the best resources to support families. Why spend time going from site to site when we have it all organized for you?

Have a great school year!