Top 10 Back To School Tips

JanSport Jul 21, 2024

As the summer break draws to a close, many kids and adults across the US are facing the new school year with a sense of apprehension.
We know it’s not always easy making that adjustment to a back to school routine, and especially after a hot summer of fun. 
That's exactly why JanSport collaborated with the Bewell Academy's Dr. Mitnaul (Board Certified Child Psychiatrist), to get his top 10 tips for mitigating back to school stress.


Bewell Academy's Dr. Mitnaul (Board Certified Child Psychiatrist), says: 

“It's important for parents, carers and educators to be aware of the stressors facing students today, and to take proactive steps to support them. 
The back to school week is a very important time for students, and by engaging in the right preparation and establishing a routine, parents, carers and students can alleviate some of the stress associated with transitioning back to the school environment. 
Creating a nurturing and supportive environment at home, promoting open communication, and encouraging self-care practices are all essential in helping students manage stress effectively”.


Top 10 Back to School Tips

1. Re-establish a Regular Sleep Schedule

Summer holidays often mean that those enforced bedtime routines go on a vacation of their own.

But with the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommending 9-12 hours of sleep for 6-12 year olds, and 8-10 hours of sleep for 13-18 years olds, it is vital that sleep schedules get back on track before term time.

To get those sleepy schedules back on track, gradually adjust the bedtime routine four weeks before school begins so as to match the upcoming school timetable.

To aid this, make sure you also put those screens on a timeout, as they are well known to be a contributor to poor sleep hygiene.

2. Read and Engage in Educational Activities

We aren't mad at you, the summer break is the perfect time to let our young students' brains go on vacation. 

But studies have shown that a great way to help maintain academic skills and prepare students to be ready for school to begin is by reading books, solving puzzles, and engaging in other lower level educational activities.

So why not give it a go.


3. Review Previous Year's Materials

With all the sun soaked adventure during the summer break, it can be hard for our young students' brains to retain a lot of the previous years' learnings. 

However, a great way of maintaining academic skills and alleviating the stress that comes with forgetting previous learnings, is by referring to notes, textbooks, and assignments from the previous year to refresh important concepts. 

Doing this will provide a head start for the upcoming year and massively boost confidence. 

If you’ve misplaced or recycled last year's materials, then search your school or localities website for academic goals by grade.


4. Set Academic Goals

It's a well-known fact that people perform better when they have clear goals that they want to achieve. This is no different for students.

In a study by the American Psychological Association it was proven that for both teens and adolescents, sitting down and setting academic goals alongside a parent or carer had a positive impact on their actual academic outcomes

So carve out a little quality time to agree on these goals together, the results will speak for themselves.


5. Organize School Supplies

One thing that teens and adolescents all enjoy about going back to school, is the opportunity to restock on all new supplies. Whether needed or not.

So, go ahead and take a full inventory of your current school supplies, before hitting the stores. 

Organize those backpacks, folders and notebooks so that everything is just where it’s needed for the first day back.

We don’t need any nasty surprises.


6. Establish a Study Area and Routine

Love it or loathe it, Inevitably, homework will be a part of the new school term routine.

In this case it’s a good idea to be as prepared as possible, and create a designated study area, or fortress of concentration, if you will.

We’re not all fortunate enough to have a space that we can dedicate to this full time, so if the study space has other uses during the day then this can also be a good opportunity to help develop discipline around organization, cleanliness and time management. 

7. Visit the School and Meet Teachers

Finding comfort in familiar surroundings works wonders to ease stress and anxiety. 

So,if returning to an unfamiliar class room is something that is bothering your child, try planning a visit to the school before the academic year begins. 

Getting a chance to visit the new classroom and maybe even meet with the new teacher is an amazing way of mentally preparing for the upcoming term.


8. Prepare Healthy Meals

We all know that the healthier our bodies are, the healthier our minds are. 

In fact, a recent CDC report associated proper nutrition with academic success and overall well-being.

So it’s a no brainer, make sure to plan and prepare nutritious meals and snacks that support your children's energy and brain function both in the run up to the new term and during.


9. Discuss Emotional Well-being

Discussing emotional well-being can sometimes be hard, especially for teens and adolescents.

However, during this period, it’s vital that parents or carers make a safe space and engage in open conversations about any fears, anxieties, or concerns a child may have about going back to school. 

Encouraging them to express their emotions and providing reassurance and support will go a long way to alleviating any fears or worries they have about their return to school.


10. Encourage Physical Activity

We all feel better after some physical activity don’t we? Well, for children it goes beyond that.

According to the National Library of Medicine, Aerobic exercise and physical activity promote children’s executive function (EF).

What this means is, physical activity helps children process the acquiring of knowledge and improves learning ability so is something that should be encouraged both in the run up to the new term and during.