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Mrs. Brinker's advice for getting kids back on schedule for the new school year

13News Education Expert Jennifer Brinker recommends three things to get kids ready for school, including that all-important sleep routine.

GREENWOOD, Ind. — We're just a few weeks away from the beginning of a new school year. Whether your kids are learning from home or headed back to the classroom, 13News Education Expert Jennifer Brinker has the top three things to do to get them ready including how to get them back into that all-important sleep routine.

Dustin: What would be your first tip for getting kids prepared for school?

Mrs. Brinker: Well, the first suggestion I would make is to get your kiddo back on a normal sleep routine. Many of us and our kids have gotten into some pretty wacky sleep routines and the time to start back into a new schedule is now. Doctors suggest that it takes two weeks to adapt to a new sleep schedule, so I would start to more closely stick to not only bed times but also wake up times as well. Go gradually. It doesn’t have to be all at once, but you need to start getting their bodies used to this new routine.

Dustin: Is that just for kids who are waking up and physically going into the school building?

Mrs. Brinker: No. The number-one way we have found for kids to be successful doing remote or distance learning is sticking to a schedule as well. Regardless of the mode of learning, I would start getting used to that schedule right now.

Dustin: What about back to school shopping right now?

Mrs. Brinker: Most schools have put out their supply lists by this time. The one tip that I would give parents while doing this shopping is to try and let your child have some say in their selections. There are some supplies that are very specific, but for fun items like backpacks and notebooks, I’d let them have a say. This will make them feel more positive about heading back to school.

Dustin: We all know that this has been a crazy year with COVID-19, any specific guidance for parents with this?

Mrs. Brinker: I have said it 1,000 times before, but please try to remain positive about going back to school-your child will take those cues from you. Some additional advice I would give is to try your best to prepare your child for possible changes. As we have all seen, the information about back to school seems to evolve and change every single day. I would begin to work on being flexible and teaching your child to be flexible as well. Some kids are more resilient than others and parents know their child better than anyone, so if you think your child struggles with being rigid, you might try to start talking through some of the possibilities of school going online for brief amounts of time, etc. Again, if you are positive and let them know that you as a family unit will work through it and be OK, they will feel much more relaxed.

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