Educators and families alike are wondering what this school year will bring. Along with the typical back-to-school jitters are the various unknowns amidst the ongoing pandemic. While there is still a fair amount of uncertainty, it can be helpful to focus aspects that we can control or plan for. Here are five simple and effective tips to start this school year off right, whether you’re a parent, educator or student.

Get Your Sleep Cycle in Order
After the long, lazy days of summer and extended daylight (and later bedtimes!), it’s always a good idea to start training your body to fall asleep at an appropriate time for your back-to-school schedule. Mid-August is a good time to start getting to bed earlier and waking up at the time you need to wake up at once school starts.

Build Your Routines
While you may not be ready to let go of summer just yet, it’s a good time to start planning out or incorporating some of your school year routines. If you normally go to the gym in the mornings before work, make it a point to start doing so before September is in full swing. If you typically have after school activities for your children and need to meal prep around these activities, start shopping for groceries in a similar manner. If you’re a teacher and need to reserve time for grading papers on weeknights, start moving other activities around in your schedule before school starts to get into the swing of things and accommodate this lifestyle change.

Increase Food Literacy
Back to school can often mean back to a more hectic schedule. Adults and children alike may be more inclined to reach for quick meal and snack solutions that can be subpar when it comes to nutritional value. Families can take time in the two weeks before school resumes to start incorporating healthier recipes and snack items into the daily routine that make sense for a busier lifestyle period, thus ensuring a smooth transition for everyone’s palates.

Exercise Your Brain
It’s no secret that many students experience some ‘learning loss’ over the summer months unless they have been regularly reviewing academic material. It’s never too early or too late to start reviewing or refreshing some of the core academic notions your child should be comfortable with at the start of the new school year. Reading, writing and a basic review of main concepts in mathematics for just 15 minutes a day can go a long way to combatting summer learning loss.

Get Your Calendar Ready
Much like building your routines as explained above, getting your calendar ready can be as simple as planning ahead. Are there annual medical appointments that need to be booked? Call ahead and see if you can organize these to get them into your calendar as soon as possible. Do academic tutors need to be reserved for the Fall semester? Do sports or arts registrations need to be completed? Having your most important scheduling items reserved or penciled in ahead of time can help everyone feel at ease as they prepare for a brand-new school year.