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Best of the web: A few back-to-school tips for parents


We’re bidding a sad farewell to hot temperatures, vacation activities and the slower pace that the summer months sometimes (but not always) deliver. For the younger folks among us, that means back-to-school time.

Here are some tips we’ve uncovered for September — a month that offers a sense of new beginnings.

Get them (and yourself) to bed

It’s something that many of us know already, but the Sleep Research Society shows how cognitive performance is impaired if individuals (children or adults) are sleeping less than they should. What can be done about that, considering the ultra-busy lifestyle many of us have? There are actually a number of things that promote better sleep. Take a look at these tips to sleep better from Healthline and ScienceDaily’s Importance of good sleep routines for children.

Control screen time

Perhaps the biggest culprit in sleep loss — for adults as well as kids — is technology. Smartphone use has also been linked to depression, says Jean M. Twenge in an article in Time for kids, perhaps because not getting enough sleep is a major risk factor for depression. You can control your children’s time and access to content on individual devices through parental control software or through Wi-Fi access. Learn how to set up parental controls on all devices.

Check out the free SnowPass and language learning opportunities

Back-to-school time also means planning for the upcoming season, and even into next spring and summer. If you have a child in grade 4 or 5, be sure to sign up for the free SnowPass for access to more than 150 ski areas in Canada. If you have teenaged kids, check out the free language immersion camps, courtesy of the federal government. See for details.

Become a better reader yourself

September can feel like a new beginning to grownups, too, so why not hit the books? Leisure reading has reached an all-time low even as the importance of reading continues to be touted in our culture. See tips on how to love reading again and get ideas to read more and push yourself as a reader.  

We hope you can benefit from some or all of these tips as you return to the routines of your family’s September-to-June life.