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WVU experts offer advice for minimizing back-to-school stress

Photo of Sara Anderson and Gwen Crum side by side. Both women facing forward in professional headshot

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Back-to-school doesn’t have to be a stressful time, according to West Virginia University experts. Planning ahead and making simple adjustments can ease the transition into the new school year.

Gwen Crum
Extension Agent – Wood County, WVU Extension Service
Contact info:; 304.424.1969

“Often, the hardest part about starting a new school year is getting back into a routine. To make the first few days of school easier on everyone, begin your nightly and morning routines about a week in advance."

"Use your smartphone and its built-in tools to help you stay organized and get back into your routine. Calendar apps are a great way to manage your family’s schedule. Set reminders to help you get back into the swing of things. When working on your family’s plans for the week, be sure to schedule down time. Rest is underrated, and you and your kids need time at home to recharge. Keeping a calendar is key to creating balance.”

Gwen Crum on planning ahead (0:34)
Gwen Crum on routines (0:35)
Gwen Crum on smartphones and calendar apps (0:31) 

Sara Anderson
Assistant Professor, Department of Learning Sciences and Human Development
Contact info:; 304.293.7040

“It’s important to make sure kids know what’s happening. So, tell them who their teacher is, tell them what time they’ll be waking up, what bus they’ll have to get and if they’re changing to a new school it will be a good idea to drive by the school to show them what it will look like. A lot of times there are open-houses for schools and that’s a great opportunity to go and get to meet the teachers and walk around, and I would say that’s especially important for kindergarten students and students changing schools more generally.”

“It’s also important as children start school to get their materials ready and to feel like they have some investment in the process. As kids get older, it is important for them to feel ownership and also to get ready to have those responsibilities as well. For kids, especially older-elementary, middle and high school students, it’s an important time to revisit what courses they will be taking, make sure that they start their reading lists, especially for kids in younger grades make sure they’re ready to engage with (new) academic content.”

Sara Anderson on the start of school (2:52)
Sara Anderson on changing schools (3:09)

West Virginia University experts can provide commentary, insights and opinions on various news topics. Search for an expert by name, title, area of expertise or college/school/department in the Experts Database at WVU Today.



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