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5 Tips for a Smooth Back to School Transition from United Way of Lake County

August 17, 2017

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

1.  Forms from School:  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 need documented, and any allergies need noted. These are all essential details schools need information about for the health and safety of children.

2.  Clothes:  Most kids grow over the summer so it's important to check and see which clothes still fit and what necessities need replaced. Keep your eyes and ears open because many retail outlets have back to school sales or tax free shopping days/weeks. If your child is required to wear a uniform, it's a good idea to check with your school to see if they have a "uniform swap," which is a really affordable way to get clothes that fit.

3.  School Supplies:  School supply lists seem to grow year after year so be sure to check your school's website to see the supply list and make sure you have everthing your child needs to be successful. It's always a good idea to let your child pick out their own supplies because it helps them feel a sense of control and ownership, which can help reduce any back to school anxiety.

4.  Bedtimes:  Begin reiging in the late summer bedtimes to get your child's nightime routine back on track. School age children should be getting about 10 hours of sleep per night in order to enjoy optimal concentration during the school day.

5.  Soothing Nervousness:  Returning back to school is scary for many children and nervousness and jitters are a real thing that can feel overwhelming to a child. They are meeting new teachers, getting reacquanted with classmates and meeting new ones as well, all the while trying to adjust to a new routine and expanded expectations of school performance. It's a lot to handle for a child. Your kind and gentle words of encouragement can help ease the stress of the entire back to school experience for your child.

At United Way of Lake County we believe that communities are successful when everyone's potential for success is optimized, especially that of children.