Beating the back to school blues- Tips and tricks to prepare for a great school year!

School bells are getting ready to ring around the country with the arrival of August! A period of time where parents are frantic to make sure their children are prepared and transitioned from the summer break! But have no fear, We at Cretin Townsend Homes have put together a few tips and tricks to help this school year start easy and frantic free!

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Back to school shopping!

Nothing quite says back to school then the annual back to school shopping trip. Where frantic families gather into their local stores to buy clothes and supplies for their children for the forthcoming school year! Luckily school shopping doesn’t have to quite be so disastrous with a few tips and tricks. Photo Credit

Know what you need- Most schools offer up a school shopping list to gage parents into the direction of what they need. Making sure you are aware of the supplies your children will need along with specific dress codes and rules the school follows ensures no hiccups on that first day

Make a list- Making a list is crucial especially if you have multiple children who will require different things. Since you know what you need, having a list makes shopping direct and can help you not get caught up in the overwhelming back to school section! Marking things off as you go makes it sure you won't miss out on any supplies!

Shop Smart- It’s easy to get caught up in the desperate need of school supplies. However, looking for savings, knowing local store deals and opting to order specific items online can make the prosses easier and less costly!

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Create a Routine!

One of the hardest things about transitioning from summer to school time can be the muddle of not having a routine. And in most cases, without set routine, mornings and nights can be crazy for any family. Photo Credit

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Night routine

The National Sleep Foundation says that poor sleep in school-aged children can lead to mood swings, behavioral problems like ADHD and cognitive problems that may impact their ability to learn in school. Creating a healthy sleep routine is critical for back to school! A school-aged child needs roughly 9-11 hours of sleep each night and without proper sleep, your child won’t be able to function optimally. To create a healthy night routine, we recommend starting earlier rather than later. Establishing a bedtime with your child a few weeks before school starts is a great way to help get them in the habit of getting to bed earlier! Also cutting out T.V. and videogames an hour to thirty minutes before bed and encouraging reading is a great way to help your child wind down from a fun and stimulating day!

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Morning routine

Waking up early can be difficult for us all, so creating a morning routine is a great way to make sure your child has time to get ready and be prepared for those early school mornings. Plus missing the bus can be a fun adventure sometimes, however an unplanned trip to school that morning can be an early morning stressor when time is not quite on your side. Like the night routine, we suggest starting a generic morning routine a few weeks before school begins, to help prevent possible jet lag symptoms on the first day of school. And while a summer morning doesn’t necessarily require the same things as a school morning, creating that habit of waking up on time is beneficial for parents and children alike!

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Create a Homework headquarters!

While doing “homework at the kitchen table” is one of those things most families employ, a study on distraction found that it takes an average of 25 minutes to regain concentration after interruptions. And the kitchen can be filled with many distractions and interruptions. Creating a designated homework headquarters allow children to have a place (preferably free of distractions such as TVs, video games, and lots of foot traffic) where they can concentrate and work. Plus having a study space can be fun and engaging for school-aged children, motivating them to get their work done!

Creating the headquarters doesn’t have to be difficult, a small desk and a chair in a quiet location are all it takes! However, to create a truly perfect area making sure the headquarters is stocked with essentials such as pencils, markers, scratch paper, etc. can ensure easy studying and concentrating.

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Healthy & Easy snacks

If there’s anything parents like when it comes to back to school season it's easy. And while easy can sometimes mean prepackaged, sugar-filled sweets healthy options can be easy and beneficial for your child. Even picky eaters can find healthy options to choose from when looking for an after school snack. Some of our recommendations would be

Pretzels & Trail mix

Often you can buy large bags of pretzels and trail mix and by taking a few minutes to prepackage a few baggies or just having them on hand ensures your child has an easy to eat and healthy alternative snack. Nuts in general such as cashews, almonds, and pistachios have great health benefits and mixing in some chocolate or peanut butter chips can make these snacks perfect for children!

Fruit & Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are amazing snacks that often come packaged on their own! Things such as bananas, strawberries, and oranges provide a variety of easy to eat healthy snack alternatives for school children and adults alike!

Dips

While not all kids like just eating celery and carrots incorporating dips can be an easy and healthy way to guarantee your children are getting a healthy snack. Dips such as hummus and peanut butter are easy to have ready and provide a tasty snack alternative.

Sides

Items such as veggie straws are a great alternative to chips and can be packaged easily and are great for sides!

Graham crackers also offer a sweet taste and can be a great alternative to snack cakes or sugar dense sweets!

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Utilize meet the teacher events

Establishing a connection with your child’s teacher is a great way to go into the school year. Parents and teachers alike go into the school year with certain expectations. Parents expect the teacher to facilitate learning, knowledge, and growth, socially and academically. As well as communicate struggles and concerns. Teachers expect support from parents and to reinforce appropriate work habits in the home. And while these expectations are great to have communication between the parents and teachers is critical! Utilizing meet the teacher events is a great way to build a foundation of a relationship between the parent and teacher so that communication is ensured, and your child can thrive!

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