Sunday, June 24, 2018
Education

Back to school tips: Get some sleep and get organized

Successfully navigating elementary, middle and high school can require families to develop different habits along the way. Nevertheless, here are some tips that every family can follow, regardless of a child's age, to get ready for back to school:

m

Get to sleep: Now is the time to start getting your kids into sleep shape for school. Studies have shown that children who get eight to 11 hours of sleep are more likely to earn higher grades. The best method is to do it gradually, especially if you've been on an up-all-night, loll around all day pattern this summer. You can start now by gradually moving bedtimes and wakeup times earlier (about 15 minutes every other day) until you are to the point where kids will be able to wake up in time once school starts.

. Get outside more: One of the very best tricks to getting kids to sleep well at night is wear them out during the day. It's also good for the brain. As biologist John Medina notes in the bestseller Brain Rules, exercise increases oxygen flow into the brain, and an increase in oxygen is always accompanied by an uptick in mental sharpness, Medina notes. So consider it homework.

. Designate a 'launch pad': Pick a chair or a place by the door for where backpacks, lunchboxes and sports gear will go. This isn't a bad habit for summer camps, either, so consider it practice.

. Plan your routine now: I call it doing my homework while the kids do theirs. This is when I go through backpacks and sign what needs signing, send in money for field trips or note meetings in my calendar. It's also a good time to log onto the school's website and see if there are any announcements and to check grades. Resolve not to put permission stuff and other slips of paper into a "to do" pile that invariably doesn't get done. Do it right then and get it out of the way before you forget.

. Get a notebook for yourself: Start off the school year with a binder of your own in the house for all the school papers, fliers, website passwords and carpool information in one neat notebook. You could have one massive one or create a notebook for each child.

. Pledge to do less: Yes, you read that right. Do less. Teach the kids how to make their own lunch, sell their own fundraisers, check their own computer portal to make sure the teacher recorded their grade correctly. The outfit you have to wear is wrinkled? Learn to iron or hoard bottles of Downy Wrinkle Releaser spray, kiddo.

Sharon Kennedy Wynne writes for our Whoa Momma parenting blog. To debate parenting issues, visit tampabay.com/blogs/moms.

Comments
First step for Hillsborough schools facing biggest challenges: Hire more teachers

First step for Hillsborough schools facing biggest challenges: Hire more teachers

TAMPA — As chief of diversity for the Hillsborough County School District, Minerva Spanner-Morrow tries to keep her expectations realistic."We want the best of the best and I know that’s very difficult," she told principals last week as they prepared...
Published: 06/23/18
Hernando school officials set to discuss replacement, sever ties after firing Superintendent Lori Romano

Hernando school officials set to discuss replacement, sever ties after firing Superintendent Lori Romano

BROOKSVILLE — With dust still settling from the Hernando County School Board’s close vote to fire Superintendent Lori Romano — and days before her time as head of the district runs out — school officials and community members seem to be already movin...
Published: 06/20/18
Hernando students score slightly better on state tests

Hernando students score slightly better on state tests

BROOKSVILLE — As schools and districts across the state await their 2018 grades from the Florida Department of Education, the standardized test scores that factor into those ratings and were dropped last week show slight gains in Hernando County.The ...
Published: 06/20/18
Budget analysis projects deficit, deepened by security costs, for Pasco schools in coming year

Budget analysis projects deficit, deepened by security costs, for Pasco schools in coming year

An early analysis of the Pasco County School District’s 2018-2019 budget projects a deficit of more than a million dollars, with more than half of that coming from a shortfall in funding new school safety requirements.Costs to hire and train 53 new s...
Published: 06/20/18
New dorm still coming to USF St. Petersburg, but in a smaller package

New dorm still coming to USF St. Petersburg, but in a smaller package

ST. PETERSBURG — Originally pitched as a nine- or 10-story, 550-bed dorm for the overcrowded University of South Florida St. Petersburg campus, USF’s latest residence hall project will likely look much different by the time it’s done.For starters, it...
Published: 06/20/18
Carlton: From Sun Dome to Beer Stadium: Don’t let suds scare you

Carlton: From Sun Dome to Beer Stadium: Don’t let suds scare you

Am I missing something in the — pardon the expression — brouhaha over the renaming of the University of South Florida Sun Dome to the Yuengling Center? In trading a college arena’s longtime name for that of a big-name beer brewed ne...
Published: 06/20/18

Hillsborough school district will pursue two kinds of local taxes

TAMPA — Hillsborough County School District officials took an important step Tuesday toward asking the voters to pay higher taxes for schools that, they say, are not getting enough money from the state.The board voted 5-0 to submit a tax referendum r...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/20/18
STEM camp beats the summer doldrums for some Pasco students

STEM camp beats the summer doldrums for some Pasco students

DADE CITY —Just a few weeks into summer vacation, Pasco Middle School student Jade Neal, 14, was back at school, delving into a challenging STEM activity on force in motion, as the theme to Mission Impossible played in the background.The assignment? ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/21/18
Ethan Hooper steps up with a salute to teachers

Ethan Hooper steps up with a salute to teachers

Editor’s note: Ethan Hooper wrote today’s column to give Ernest Hooper Father’s Day off.In May, I graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in elementary education, and I recently secured a job as a first-grade teacher with Orang...
Published: 06/18/18
AP World History course is dropping thousands of years of human events - and critics are furious

AP World History course is dropping thousands of years of human events - and critics are furious

Since 2002, the AP World History course has covered thousands of years of human activity around the planet, starting 10,000 years back. But now the College Board, which owns the Advanced Placement program, wants to cut out most of that history and st...
Published: 06/16/18