Back to School Tips

Ways to help your child prepare for the new school year

When the school bell chimes on its last day before summer break, kids, teens and teachers alike all breathe a little easier. Summertime means ocean view vacations, late-night slumber parties, and video game marathons fueled by pizza and sugary snacks. Still, all good things must come to an end and what better way to prepare your child for the new school year than with these helpful back to school tips provided by educational experts? Whether it’s enforcing an earlier bedtime or simply keeping your child’s mind active, Sacramento Lifestyle’s tips will prepare children (and parents) for the upcoming school year.

Keep an Active Routine

For 15 years, Wendy Aiello has taught third grade for Diamond Creek Elementary School in Roseville. With math, language arts, and social studies a part of her everyday curriculum, Aiello says it’s pertinent to maintain an active routine during the summer to keep children’s minds sharp like No. 2 pencils.

“Parents need to have a consistent routine and some predictability during the summer, so when [their children] go back to school they’re ready for the structure they’re going to be dealing with,” explains Aiello.

Reset Your Child’s Body Clock

When you’re traveling and adding busy activities into summer vacation, a routine is understandably broken. Bedtimes fluctuate, and often times, more hours are spent poolside than at the homework table, but Aiello says it’s never too late to reestablish a suitable bedtime so your child gets enough rest before the new school year.

“Maybe things aren’t as routine as they were and that’s fine. But, especially the weeks before school starts getting them back to a regular bedtime is helpful,” she says. “For myself, I even have to start doing that about two weeks in advance.” (Laughs)

Avoid the Summer Slump

First grade teacher Sarah Rambo will start her fresh career at Greer Elementary School in Sacramento when school returns. Throughout her time spent in the classroom alongside tenured teachers, she’s learned that the summer slump is one hurdle that is best tackled with a few good books, apps or websites.

“Reading, writing, speaking and listening are all very important skills to keep active so they aren’t losing them during the break,” Rambo says. “Definitely reading to them and having them read to you and interact with the story by asking questions are all very important.”

Rambo recommends StoryStarters.org, StoryLineOnline.org, and RoadWorks.org as great resources for parents who want to keep minds active.

Meet the Teacher

Both Aiello and Rambo encourage all parents to attend Back to School Night, which is usually scheduled within the first week of school. The goal is for parents to meet their child’s teacher, learn what his or her expectations are, and then learn what they can do to start the school year off on a good note because teachers and parents both want your child to succeed.

Remember: Parents and Teachers are a Team

“I like to think of parents and teachers as a team looking out for what’s best for the child,” Rambo says. “So, if you continue what they learned in school and continue to build on that during the summer they will do their best the next year. It’s only going to help them. Keep in mind that everyone’s working together to make sure the child will do the best that they can.”