Back to School: The Best Ways to Prepare shares tips to help make your transition as smooth as possible.

August is here and it’s almost time to head back to school. Across the nation teachers are fine tuning lesson plans and their classrooms and schools are preparing to open their doors. How can you ensure that you have a smooth transition into the school year? shares six tips to get you get prepared to head back this fall:

1) Get Organized:

Call your school district with questions or check its website. Find out what day classes start and what time students are expected to arrive. If you’re not already enrolled, make sure that you are registered so that you’re ready to roll on the first day.

2) Make or Start Using a Calendar:

Seventy-five percent of teens own cell phones, according to the Pew Research Center. With technology easily accessible, start using your mobile device to help organize your life. Sites such as offer free online organizers that are accessible through internet access on your computer or cellphone. Families can share calendars that organize appointments, lists, home, work and school schedules.

If you’re not a fan of using technology, a white-board calendar stored in your room or locker can help you keep track and easily revise tasks that need to be completed.

Or, if writing tasks with old-fashioned pencil and paper works best for you, you can find and download a printable calendar here.

3) Check Before You Shop:

August is the second biggest sales month for clothing retailers. Don’t get caught up in the back-to-school hype and sales that start as early as July. Take an afternoon while you still have the time in the summer to address your clothing needs. Empty drawers and closets of clothes you no longer wear, have outgrown or are worn-out. Once you have accessed what you have and don’t have, develop a wardrobe needs list.

Remember, clothes that you decide to discard can be donated.

You can similarly make the same assessment for school supplies.

4) Gather Your Papers:

In order to start school, some schools require documentation for immunization records. You may also be asked for previous years report cards. Call your school beforehand to confirm what paperwork is required. A little preparation can prevent frantic, last-minute searches.

5) Pick Up Healthy Breakfast Foods:

It may or may not be true that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but it is true that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. After a long night of sleeping, your body’s fuel tank is empty. Any breakfast is better than no breakfast, and it will help to increase your metabolism.

Try to eat a variety of foods, including:

·       fruit

·       vegetables

·       grains (make at least half your grains whole grains)

·       protein (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dry beans, nuts and seeds)

·       dairy products ( lowfat or fat-free milk, cheese and yogurt)

6) Get Sleep:

Though it may sound basic, it’s a key back-to-school tip. Most teens require about 8.5 to more than 9 hours of sleep each night. Sleep is essential to do well in class, on tests and on sport teams. The National Sleep Foundation reports that more than one quarter of high school students fall asleep in class. Additionally, over the past year, 15% of students in the 10th to 12th grades drive drowsy at least once a week and more than 100,000 accidents, 40,000 injuries and 1,500 people are killed in the U.S. every year in crashes caused by drivers who are simply tired, according to the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration.

Some signs that you need more sleep include:

·       difficulty waking up in the morning

·       inability to concentrate

·       falling asleep during classes

·       feelings of moodiness and even depression

Start the 2011-2012 school year off right.  Be prepared so that you don’t get left behind.

(Photo: Staten Island Advance/Landov)

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