Summer 2021 has been one for the books! Between National Ice Cream Month, the warmer weather, a reprieve from COVID-19 restrictions, and getting to see all of our patients’ bright and smiling faces, the Hoskinson Orthodontics team couldn’t have asked for a better summer.

With autumn right around the corner, we wanted to take the time to touch base with our young orthodontic patients and their families to discuss ways they can prepare for the upcoming school year. So, whether you’re a patient or a parent, let’s dive into the best back-to-school tips for Schenectady County students!

Taming the Back-to-School Jitters

Back-to-school jitters were common even before the COVID-19 pandemic. But after more than a year of jumping back-and-forth between in-person and virtual learning, many students have anxiety going into the new school year.

The uncertainty of what to expect this new school year is likely a main culprit behind the back-to-school jitters. Fortunately, there are ways students can alleviate some of their anxieties.

For parents, the first thing you should do is recognize and acknowledge your child’s feelings. Avoid asking leading questions like, “Are you nervous about returning to school?” You don’t want to belittle or minimize their anxieties, either. Acknowledge their feelings and reassure them that you will help them get through it.

If your child says, “I’m afraid to go back-to-school”, find common ground with them. Recognize and share your own fears, and model what they can do to positively cope. Then, introduce them to activities you both can do together to manage the anxiety.

Here are some ideas:

  • Deep breathing exercises
  • Taking a walk
  • Yoga or meditation
  • Journaling

Getting out in nature can also help your child calm down and better manage their anxiety. Luckily, there are lots of opportunities for Schenectady County students and their families to reconnect in nature. Cut down on screen time and make it a point to visit any of the area’s outdoor parks each week leading up to school. There’s Shenantaha Creek Park, Cohoes Falls Park, Central Park Rose Garden, and many more.

Set a New Back-to-School Routine

August is the best time to get your entire family back into a routine. That way, resuming all back-to-school activities and responsibilities will come as less of a shock to your child in the fall.

Here’s what your family’s back-to-school routine could look like:

  • Laying out clothes & packing school bags & lunch the night before.
  • Early bedtime at the same time every day.
  • Waking up at the same time every day.
  • Reading in the morning or going for a walk before school instead of watching TV.
  • Taking the family dog for a walk each evening after dinner.
  • Shutting off phones & tablets at the same time each night.
  • Reading before bed.

Getting your child accustomed to a back-to-school routine is all the more important if they’ll be attending online school this year. With virtual learning, the boundaries between home and school can easily become blurred. Virtual students tend to perform better when they stick to a balanced home learning routine.

Whether your child attends in-person or virtual school, creating a weekly schedule can also help them stay productive. Start by delegating weekly chores and knowing when after-school activities are taking place. This way you can schedule meals and homework time accordingly.

Each Saturday or Sunday, review how the week went with your child and brainstorm ways you can help them better manage their time.

Additional Back-to-School Tips

What are some other ways Schenectady County students can prepare for the new school year?

Start with your smile! After all, a healthy smile and good oral health mean better overall health. Schedule your family’s next visit to the dentist so everyone is up-to-date on their cleanings and check-ups. If your child has braces, make sure they understand how to brush and floss properly.

Coordinate healthier meals and incorporate more vegetables and calcium, protein-rich foods. Limit your family’s intake of sugar and substitute desserts for fruit and sugary drinks for fruit-infused water.

Is your child involved in after-school sports or high-impact activities? Whether they wear braces or not, talk to them about the importance of wearing a mouth guard. Nothing will put a damper on the new school year than broken teeth or an injury to the mouth.

Are You Ready to Go Back-to-School?

Even though summer is coming to an end, there’s a lot to look forward to in the year ahead! With these back-to-school tips, Schenectady County students will continually thrive and smile!

Hoskinson Orthodontics welcomes families throughout Schenectady County to get in touch with us to learn more about orthodontic care, braces, and how to achieve beautiful smiles for life. We look forward to speaking with you soon!