Tips for making back-to-school time easier, stress-free and more fun

Getting back into the swing of the school year can be tough for some kids and parents, but there are ways to make it easier on all of us.

Heritage Elementary School and Liberty Traditional School, part of the Arizona Charter Schools system, is looking to make the transition a little smoother with a few helpful tips to make your kids successful and happy now and throughout the school year.

Set a sleep schedule

Staying up late on summer nights and sleeping in can be a tough cycle to break, especially when you and your children are thrown into a strict schedule. Get toward a school-year sleeping schedule about two weeks before school starts, that way the transition seems more natural.

The whole family can make the schedule easier by having everyone go to bed early and waking up early to something special. Heritage Elementary and Liberty Traditional schools suggest scheduling fun morning outings to help the wake-up call practices seem more rewarding.

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Plan a stress-free first day

Does your child know where his or her classroom is? Are they prepared for new teachers, a new school or any change that may cause some anxiety? Try visiting the school or meeting with teachers before the first day and go over important information so it isn't overwhelming on the first day back to school.

Make sure your kid is prepared and start supply shopping as soon as you can. If you shop early, look for things that are on sale, have coupons and promotions, can be found at garage sales or thrift stores, or may be lying around the house. You can save money by buying things with great deals first or buying in bulk and sharing with other families. If you have to wait to buy school supplies, the longer you wait, the bigger the sales will be on other last-minute items.

Spend special time with each child

If your children have siblings, make sure you divide your attention to give each child what they need separately. As the school year progresses, they may want different things. Be sure to address their concerns and needs individually to keep their mental health strong throughout the school year. It's also very important to make sure each child is up-to-date on vaccines and physicals and is fit and healthy.

Teachers from Heritage Elementary and Liberty Traditional School suggest doing homework or reading with your child every night. Being present for your children and supporting them by coming to their school events and parent-teacher conferences will help them succeed.

Communicate with teachers

If you have a concern or need help with something, don't be afraid to ask. Teachers spend hours every day with your child and they are a huge part of their success. If a textbook or lesson is confusing, clarify it- it will help you and your child understand well enough to advance throughout the years. If your child is complaining and having a hard time with something at school, let the teacher know. Teachers can't fix problems if they don't know they exist.

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