How to beat the back-to-school blues

We’ve all felt it — the end-of-summer slump that comes with earlier bedtimes and back-to- school shopping as we gear up for the next school year’s adventures. While the first day of school can hold more unexpected stops and starts than a crowded cafeteria line, learners and their families can take steps to ensure that they’re as prepared and confident as possible.

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Freshen up your child's study space

A workspace can be a bedroom desk, a corner of the living room or your kitchen table — anywhere that a learner feels comfortable and productive with minimal distractions. Before you both face the deluge of new papers, take time to clean out last year’s papers from your learner's folders and learning space. It will help learners clear their minds and start the new year feeling organized, uncluttered and ready to tackle new assignments. Set up a filing system, whether electronically or in paper copy, to help you keep track of all your learner's work.

Create a personalized system of rewards

What’s your child's favorite “feel good” treat? Set aside time for an ice cream run, pizza for dinner or a TV break — whatever will motivate your learners through hard work and give them a reason to push through a lesson that might be particularly difficult. Stay positive —even when things don’t go as planned.

Make new goals

Remember, the start of the next school semester is always a good time to make fresh resolutions. Set goals, then help yourself and your child to follow them by using a giant whiteboard, a wall-hanging graphic organizer or a refrigerator calendar. Hang it in a place you won’t be able to miss. Make these goals SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. For an added dimension, get in touch with your creative side and post sayings that inspire your learner around the workspace.

Shop smart and efficiently

When you’re buying those back-to-school necessities, make sure your shopping list contains all the essentials — and that you’re getting the best bang for your buck. Create a list of everything you’re going to need — from notebooks to those motivational treats — then figure out where the best sales are and dig out any coupons or specials you can find.

Recalibrate your learner's biological clock

The back-to-school sleep schedule can be difficult — but dipping your toes in slowly makes it easier. Start getting ready for the earlier sleep schedule at least two weeks before the first day of school by adjusting your child's bedtime in 10-minute increments. Psychology Today recommends getting plenty of exercise because it tires out the body (leading to better sleep), causes serotonin to kick in and increases strength and resiliency. Learners will wake up on the first day ready to go.

Summers are always great for making new memories — but we can’t wait to get started with learning again this fall!