Ready, Set, School

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CHARLOTTE – The evenings are growing cooler, and with cooler air comes the time to start thinking about going back to school. From rising preschoolers to those going back to school to finish their final year of college, preparation is always needed. Each age group and level of education require different ways to get ready for the upcoming year. When we think of back to school, many of us think about school-age children, but all age groups from toddlers to adults returning to school need to develop a plan to get back in the physical and mental routine of a school day and a full week of school days. 

This year may be harder than others. Some confusion surrounds the preparation that is needed for school because of social distancing and masks mandates, which brings a different level of stress than in the past.  What remains the same, however, is the preparation of new routines, clothes, different lunch schedules, and so much more.

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Going back to school brings changes to many households, and the stress can be overwhelming for everyone. The key to success in all preparation for getting ready to go back to school is different for all age groups. Preschoolers through college students all need to prepare, just in different ways. The group that typically requires the most preparation that is preschool through middle school. 

Preparing preschool through middle school-aged children typically does have more steps that parents need to be involved in and may be different than helping to prepare children who are high school through college age. Children preschool age through middle school most often struggle with a routine change, especially with mornings. Mornings are a time of the day that you prepare for the day to come, and a successful morning routine is a key to most successful days. Tips on success include;

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  • Always leave time for unrushed moments in the routine. Typically adding in 10 to 15 minutes to the usual routine and giving undivided attention together helps the morning go smoother. Also, it lessens the stress if any unplanned event occurs.  The unrushed budgeted time supports a more healthy way to deal with obstacles. 
  • Younger children need more reminders, so support their routine with gentle reminders more often. When the routine falls in place with fewer reminders, remember to encourage them for their amazing efforts.
  • Always do preparation of school clothes, homework, and chores, and clear out bags the night before. The less stress and the more prep the night before, the more successful morning routines will be.
  • Remember, getting out the door is the goal. Setting a goal of successful mornings often helps reinforce the overall routine. Making sure you leave on time is a big deal. Don’t forget to add positivity when the routine goes well.

Entering high school through college can be just as overwhelming. Even as we get older, the “back to school” feeling may be the same. The tips above help with the start of any day, but preparing for the first day as an older teenager or young adult may have additional stressors. To set the year off for success a few tips always can help.

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  • Touring the school campus and getting familiar with where the classrooms are is a great first step. Before the first day, tour the campus and get an idea of how long it will take to get to class and between classes. The tour often helps with nervousness and prepares the student for their new learning environment. 
  • Get your schedule and plan your first day with a mix of studying and relaxation time. Downtime and focus time are both important, so make sure to make a priority of both.
  • Prepare school materials including reviewing book requirements for the class.  Some high school and college classes require additional reading materials and class materials; make sure to review before
  • Get ready to meet new people because high school and college classes bring new groups of people together. Learn and prepare for new social circles with diverse backgrounds.
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Back to daily routines, going to school events, and planning around extracurricular activities is right around the corner for many. How we prepare, how we help them prepare, and easing into the new school routine will get everyone on the right track for the upcoming school year. Preparing may seem overwhelming at first, but knowing that all steps taken in preparation will help everyone should ease some stress. Take time to prepare and make sure that every age group from toddlers to returning college students takes that time.

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Jessica Mentzer
Jessica Mentzer is a mother and freelance writer that loves to travel and write. Whenever she is not traveling with her family or writing she enjoys hiking, canoeing, swimming, and spending time with her two children. She is a stay-at-home mom and enjoys watching her children grow and learn each day. Her passion for writing and her love for travel are two things that she loves to share with friends and family.