Set Sail for School with Port Discovery – 5 Tips to Prepare for the School Year

The school year is almost here and it’s time to start preparing. Whether your child is entering or returning to school, here are Port Discovery’s Top 5 School Year Preparation Tips to help you and your child start the school year smoothly.

Port Discovery Tip #1: Establish Routines

Before the school year begins, establish your routine by setting the specific times for…

  • Waking Up
  • Morning Routines: face washing, hair brushing, teeth brushing and getting dressed
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Snacks
  • Night Time Routines: bathing/showering, getting on pj’s, teeth brushing and story reading
  • Lights Out

For older children, incorporate an alarm clock and/or watch to help your child identify when these events occur throughout the day. For our younger friends, create a visual daily schedule. Telling time, schedules and patterns help children make predictions and determine what comes next. Consistent routines encourage children to make logical connections and use reasoning skills.

Port Discovery Tip #2: Make Breakfast Count

We all know kids need a nutritious breakfast to get the day started. Port Discovery’s breakfast tip is all about choice! Dedicate an easily accessible spot and select two or three different breakfast options each morning. Provide ingredients for these breakfast possibilities in your child’s kitchen area. Encouraging your child to make choices is a step on the path to growing up. Through the power of choice, you can avoid tantrums, promote responsibility, foster creativity, develop problem solving skills and build confidence. And, you can use a similar routine for having lunch at home or even packing lunch for school.

Port Discovery Tip #3: Dedicate Screen Free and Interactive Time

Dedicate a block of time each day that is screen free. Commit some of this time to independent learning activities, like reading a book or working with constructive materials. Devote the other portion to strengthening the family unit. Playing board games or word games together is a fun way to engage your child’s mind in building learning skills. Games can establish school preparedness over the summer months. Make the most of this family time. Embedded within game play there are many opportunities to learn: sharing, kindness, cooperation, vulnerability, humility, tenacity and the value of following well designed rules. And don’t forget staying active! Make time for some physical play with a game of tag or jumping rope!

Port Discovery Tip #4: Get Organized

Keeping supplies and information organized can be challenging for everyone, but especially children. Organization is a key component of your child’s executive function skills, which allow children to stay focused and on task. Work together to shop for school supplies. This will ensure your child knows what items they have. Together, pack your child’s backpack, so your child knows where to find each of the items. In your home, select as a space for your child’s Study Studio. Design and set up a quiet, personalized, fully stocked Study Studio with your child. The more organized the space, the more likely your child is to complete homework assignments independently.

Port Discovery Tip #5: Prioritize Mental Health

Check-in with your child. How are they feeling about returning to school? Find ways to meet the needs of your individual child. Are they nervous? How can you help your child alleviate their anxiety? Staying attuned to your child’s mental health is crucial. Neglected mental health issues can cause a lack of focus, motivation and determination in children.


Setting goals can play a vital role in improving confidence, developing self-worth and providing a sense of purpose. With a goal in mind, children stay on-target, develop the skills they need to improve and successfully achieve.

Finally, remember and reflect on the good stuff! An intentional and regular practice of gratitude is the foundation for both compassion and appreciation. Instituting a practice of gratitude harnesses the power of positive thinking.