Ask The Experts: Back to School Edition

Jane Steinkamp is the Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services at the San Joaquin County Office of Education. In her position, she helps oversee effective curricula and education practices while inspiring, leading, and supporting students in San Joaquin County.
Jane Steinkamp is the Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services at the San Joaquin County Office of Education. In her position, she helps oversee effective curricula and education practices while inspiring, leading, and supporting students in San Joaquin County.

Q: How do I get my child back on a routine sleep schedule for school?

It is recommended that you start transiting your student back to a regular routine two to three weeks prior the start of school. During this time period, incremental changes to your child’s schedule should be made. Each day, make bedtime 15 minutes earlier. Start each morning 15 minutes earlier, too. Do this until the schedule has been adjusted to where you want it during the school year. The transition will go smoother and be met with less resistance.
Q: My child seems uninterested in returning to school. How can I make them excited about going back?

Planning get-togethers with classmates and friends can help remind students how much fun they will have together at school. You can also help decrease anxiety and stress by helping your child prepare for the first day of school. Prompt them with questions, such as what subject he/she likes best and how to become an “expert” in the subject prior to the first day of school. This builds confidence and excitement to face the year.

Q: My child has struggled to make friends in the past. How can we make it easier this school year?

Remind your student that the best way to make friends is to be a friend. Talk to him/her about what that means and prepare by practicing. Engage your child in two-way, role-playing conversations to simulate events or conversations that might happen at school or on the playground.
Q: How can I complete back to school shopping on a budget?
Create a list of what your student actually needs (versus everything he/she might want) to be successful in school. Look for sales on basic supplies and only stock up on what is needed for the first few months of school. If the school or a teacher issues a list of necessary items, meet with the teacher to determine which supplies are needed immediately and which are potentially optional. Don’t be afraid to ask if a teacher has supplies that your student can borrow so you do not have to purchase them.

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