Calming back to school worries - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Calming back to school worries


MADISON (WKOW) -- Thousands of kids woke up this morning to the start of a new school year. It's an exciting time for teachers, parents, and kids, but for a lot of kids, the new school year can lead to anxiety.

In the Parenting Project, Kim Sveum explains how parents can help make the transition back to school a little easier.

This morning hundreds of elementary school kids walked through the doors of the new Olson Elementary school in Madison, a sure sign that summer break is officially over.

Experts say now is the time to start a new routine, and routine is key for most young kids.

Hopefully you have already started getting your kids on a sleep schedule at night, and in the morning, experts say kids should start out with a good breakfast.

Research shows kids perform better in the classroom when they have a belly full of healthy food.

A lot of kids have anxiety about homework, and hopefully there won't be too much of it in this first week, but principal Sandy Gunderson says like a good night's sleep and a healthy breakfast, it's important to find a good homework routine.

Mendota Elementary School Principal Sandy Gunderson says, "A special time and a special place, like maybe homework is going to occur in the living room with the tv off for 15 minutes between 4:30 and 5:00, or for a half hour. That way the child knows what the expectations are at home about my homework."

Gunderson says once that time is up, that should be the end of homework for the night.

She says a good rule of thumb is 10 minutes of homework for each grade level, so 20 minutes for a second grader, 30 minutes for a third grader.

Many area school districts are doing their part to make the back to school transition a little easier for 6th and 9th graders who are starting out the school year in a new school.

That is the case with students at Jefferson Middle School in Madison.

They got the whole school to themselves today.

The 7th and 8th graders don't start until tomorrow.

Freshman also started today, but sophomores, juniors and seniors don't head back until tomorrow.

The school district says this gives kids starting at a new school a chance to get to know the school, and know their teachers in a bit of a quieter setting.

But regardless of your kids age, experts say in these first few days of school it's important to talk to your kids and really listen.

Sandy Gunderson says ask your kids to tell you 3 things about their school day.

If they don't want to talk about it, she says that is when you need to listen even more.

And she pointed out, anxiety is normal, but if you think it is negatively impacting your child, then it's time to talk to the teacher to investigate a little more about what's going on.

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