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Mom helping her two boys onto a yellow school bus. The boy has a blue and red backpack that the mom is helping onto his back

The end of the summer is approaching, which means that the start of classes for elementary and secondary schools is almost here. Whether you’re sending your children off to school for the first time or a seasoned pro at packing lunches and getting them to the bus stop, there’s a lot to keep track of to prepare your children for school. There are some helpful resources and tips available that will help you get ready for the big day without all the stress:

  • Take your children for a physical and an eye exam to ensure they’re in top shape for the school year ahead.
  • Start your children’s day with a nutritious breakfast and send them to school with a healthy and well-balanced lunch, which will give them energy and focus throughout the day.
    • Most public schools also have special programs in place with the goal of providing healthier meals to children. So even if you don’t get a chance to pack a good lunch, you can rest assured they will receive healthy food from their cafeteria.
  • Remind children who ride the bus to stay in the driver’s line of sight when the vehicle approaches and pulls away from a bus stop to reduce the chance of injury.
    • Get your children to the bus stop five minutes early, and be sure the bus is at a full stop before allowing them to board.
  • For children that walk or bike to school, teach them to stay safely on sidewalks and avoid strangers.
    • If possible, have your children walk to school with a group of friends or neighbors.
    • It’s important to remind kids to always look both ways for oncoming traffic or hazards when crossing the street.
  • Plan ahead – set up a homework schedule with your children and hold them accountable to it so that they develop a routine of completing their work every day.
    • You can help your children with different homework subjects by using online databases. If your children need extra help, it doesn’t hurt to get a tutor or find an after-school program for more specific attention.
    • When your children start to tire of homework, send them to websites that allow them to learn new things and have fun simultaneously.

Getting a great education starts with the right school, and Massachusetts has a plethora of options in order to provide the children of the Commonwealth with the proper educational tools for the present and the future. There can always be hitches in the road, but once you have selected the right school for your child, using a checklist to  help you prepare for the start of the school year can make the process a breeze. When that first day arrives, you can feel confident that your children will get to school happy, healthy, and well prepared.

Tweet @MassGov to tell us how you prepare for back to school. 

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