Earlier sunsets, cooler mornings, and singing cicadas are the telltale clues that the back to school season is just around the corner. United Way believes every child deserves a strong start in life and provides the following tips to help ensure a smooth transition back to school:

  1. School Forms – Check in with your child’s school to see which forms need to be filled out, and returned. Health forms may need to be signed by doctors, emergency contact information should be updated, school lunch preferences – noting any allergies – are necessary details that schools need to ensure the health and safety of your child.
  2. School Clothes – Chances are that your child grew over the summer. Check to see which clothes still fit and what needs to be replaced. Many stores will have back to school sales or tax free weeks. If your child wears a uniform, check with the school to see if they have planned a uniform swap. That is a great, low cost way to secure clothes that fit.
  3. School Supplies – These lists seem to get longer every year, but be sure to check your school’s website to see the school supply list and make sure that you have everything your child needs to be successful. Try to let your child pick out their supplies. This can help them feel a sense of control and reduce back to school anxiety.
  4. Early to Bed – Start reigning in the later summertime bedtimes, and get the nighttime routine back on track and started a little earlier. School age children should be getting about ten hours of sleep a night to optimize concentration during the school day.
  5. Soothe Your Child – Back to school jitters are a real thing and can be overwhelming. Meeting new teachers, getting reacquainted with classmates and meeting new friends – all while adjusting to a new school routine and expanded expectations of school performance – is a lot to handle. Your gentle words of encouragement can ease the stress of back to school for your child.

United Way believes that communities are successful when all members – especially our school age children – are optimizing their potential and set up for success. Learn more about our work towards early childhood success at: http://www.unitedway.org/about/leadership/ayeola-fortune