After enjoying the laid-back summer days of hanging out at the pool and sleeping in, the transition to a busy back-to-school schedule can be challenging for both kids and parents. According to Central Cass High School Counselor Trista Ziegelmann, students along with families should ease back into their schedule about a week or two school starts. Mrs. Ziegelmann suggests these tips:

  1. Ease back into the ​schedule. Go to bed earlier by 15-minute increments. Start gradually until kids are ready for bed at their usual school bedtime ideally a week or more before the first day of school. Choose clothing, lunches, and plan out rides to and from school the night before. 
  2. Set a daily routine for mornings and after school as well as other activities. Routine provides consistency, alleviates anxieties and battles by helping children, teens, and adults know what to expect. Involve your student in the conversation to promote a sense of autonomy and choice. Questions like, asking if they’d prefer a snack before or after homework time is a way to consider the child’s opinion. For older students, allow them to create their own routine, but write it down and post it where their schedule can be referenced if reminders are needed. 
  3. Check and follow the school website or social media page. Mark activities on a family calendar to avoid missing appointments, commitments and fun opportunities to connect as a family.
  4. Set up a homework area before the start of the school year. Create a space with a clock and homework supplies away from distractions yet supervised, depending on age and capabilities of the student. 
  5. Set limits; curfews, screen time, cell phone, and other technology expectations. It is OK and strongly encouraged for parents to have access to their children’s passwords. Create a nighttime charging station in a central family location to check devices in. Not only will everyone rest better without the constant notifications and feeling the need to check the device, it also helps promote organization and routine by keeping the device(s) in the same location and ready with a full charge for the day. If a device is used as a tool for waking up, purchase a traditional alarm clock.
  6. Check the school website for school supply lists. Shop and organize supplies and other necessities. Save money by reusing any usable school supplies in good condition from last year. Does your student need a new backpack, new shoes, new laptop or a better Internet connection? 
    • For families facing financial hardship and need help in purchasing school supplies, organizations and area businesses often support school supply drives providing donated school supplies for any Pre-K-12 students in need. Check with the school counselor, principal or office staff.
  7. Watch for the back-to-school open house for the opportunity to find classroom(s) and locker, connect with the teachers, school counselor, principal, school secretaries, and other important staff so children feel more comfortable and familiar. This is especially important for those starting a new school. 

For older students in junior high and high school, help ease first-day jitters by walking through their class schedule with a practice run visiting each classroom location during their open house.

“Be excited for a new year of learning regardless of age, four to 24! Kids follow our lead. Adults’ attitudes and words set the tone, said Ziegelmann. “Getting back into the school-year routine can be exhausting, exciting and stressful at the same time. Having patience, staying positive, and accepting your children where they’re at goes a long way in helping support kids for a new school year,” said Ziegelmann. “Have conversations by setting aside time to talk and listen to one another,” she continued.

For more information about helping kids transition back to school visit: central-cass.k12.nd.us or schoolsafety.gov. To find out about the most reliable, safest, and fastest broadband Internet connection in Casselton for homework or virtual learning visit ReadiTech Fiber page.  

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