When we turned the calendar to August it can mean only one thing; school bells will be ringing soon. The challenges that COVID-19 has brought to our school boards and administrators are many, but in the end, children need to continue learning in whichever format is available. With the start of another school year, it is the perfect time to call a family meeting and get everyone on board with the new routine.
Research shows that kids ages three to six need 10 to 12 hours of sleep each day. As youngsters begin pre-school or the early grades it is important to have a set bedtime with a routine that encourages success. Perhaps you want to target 8 p.m. as bedtime. If so you will want to begin the wind down process around 7 p.m. Perhaps a warm bath and bed time story would help your child to relax. Planning what will be worn the next day or eaten for breakfast also encourages a less hectic morning when the alarm goes off. Whatever you want to adopt as a routine, now is a good time to start working toward your final goal. If the summer schedule has been lax, start moving the bedtime up a few minutes each day until your target is reached. That should help make the first day of school a success.
As families strive to get the school year off to a good start, the morning rush can create a huge obstacle. Whether your kids catch an early morning bus, if you provide the ride, or if they bike or walk to school, make sure time is set aside to eat a healthy breakfast. It has long been reported that eating breakfast is a good thing – first by moms, and then backed up by numerous research studies. Nutrition educators have shown that eating breakfast is important to weight control. It also helps youngsters perform better in school.
If you live close enough to school, perhaps your child can walk or bike safely to school. Research shows that starting your day with some physical activity (i.e. walking to school) encourages better concentration and behavior in the classroom. If your schedule allows it, do a trial run with your child; either walking or biking on a safe route to the front door of the school.
Here’s hoping your school year gets off to a great start!
Donna Krug is the Family & Consumer Science Agent with K-State Research and Extension – Cottonwood District. Contact her at 620-793-1910 or firstname.lastname@example.org.