Back to school hacks: essential tips for A+ parenting

The start of a new school year is a hectic time of year for parents and students alike. It’s time for new shoes, new friends, new classmates and exciting new challenges. After a never-long-enough summer, it’s back to the educational grind.

The first few weeks of school might seem like a whirlwind of places to be and new names to learn. In this confusion many of our prized routines can go by the wayside. Here are some practical tips to keep active and happy when summer ends and school begins.

Beware of over-programming

The start of the school year means the start of a whole new set of clubs and sports as well. It’s easy to overfill our days and nights with valuable activities that promote personal growth and activity, but there should be a limit to our scheduling.

Leave some time in your weekly calendar for your kids to decompress and enjoy some unstructured outdoor play. The weather in September is ideal for fun outdoor games that don’t require much organization.

Make time to play some pick-up sports, go for a bike ride, or try one of these seven idea for outdoor play– just let them go where the day takes them before the cruel hand of winter shuttles us all indoors.

Walk it off

A few days into back-to-school can make the family car feel like a never-stopping taxi service, shuttling kids to lessons and practice. As established earlier, the schedule crunch is real.
While everyone has places to be and people to see, there is no better way to sneak in some activity than by walking or wheeling to school or after school activities.  If afternoon activities necessitate car trips, consider parking a little further away to build in a walk.


Sleep check

If endless summer nights lend themselves to staying up late, waking up in the morning gets tougher. Once school starts, it’s back to working at a different pace.

Making sure kids are up early enough to get a good start on the day is important, as is getting them to sleep at a reasonable hour. Give your kids the rest they need to attack each day by ensuring they get the right amount sleep.

  • Kids aged 5-13 need between 9 and 11 hour each night, and kids aged 14-17 should get 8-10 hours.

Consistent bed times and wake up times help to build healthy sleep practices.