Ways to help your kids mentally prepare for back to school

Back to school

(Credit: MGN Online)

News 12 This Morning / Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Summer's officially over for many counties in our area, and a lot of parents are wondering how to get their children's minds ready for school after the break.

"School and studying is more like a sport. I mean, athletes have to work out all the time. They have to exercise their muscles, they have to run to keep in shape. The brain's the same kind of thing," said GRU Education Professor Dr. Andrew Kemp.

But after a nice long summer break, it can be hard to get your child's mind back into the game and back into school mode.

That's where Dr. Kemp says one thing is key.

"I think the most important thing to getting kids ready to go back to school is developing a routine," he said.

And sticking to a routine is something Dr. Kemp doesn't only preach -- he also practices it with his own children.

"We have a pretty -- not a strict schedule, but my whole family exercises and we get up. OK, this is a bit early for most people, but we get up at 4:45 in the morning," he explained. "Then we have breakfast at one time, and it is inevitably between 6 and 6:10 every day."

But, getting up at 4:45 am every weekday doesn't work for all families. So Kemp suggests every parent should work out what works best for their family.

"Make it sort of a compromise, don't make it 'here's the way it's going to be' because kids are going to react to that," he said. "And 'you can't force me to do that.'"

But once you make plans, he says to make sure to stick to them.

"Say, 'You need to spend some time working on school stuff. What would be a good time for you to work?' he said. "If you decide it's an hour after school is done, then make it an hour after school is done every time."

And for parents struggling to set a routine, Kemp has a few words of encouragement.

"It's not too late to start," he said. "You can always start the routine."

And for parents who already have a routine, share it with us! Just head over to the News 12 This Morning Facebook page and share your methods of helping your kids get mentally prepared for school.


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