Summer vacations are over, the monsoon is here and the new academic year is all set to commence. For 30 million middle class households across the country, June is a time of hectic activity as the world’s largest school-going population of 250 million children gets ready to begin the new academic year. It’s the time for last-minute purchases of school uniforms, bags, arranging for school transport, extra-curricular activities and planning the weekly lunch/snacks menu. After six-eight weeks of summer vacations when school routines were forgotten, it’s difficult for parents and children to get back on track without stress and anxiety. According to Raising Children, an Australian parenting network, smooth and efficiently planned school routines have a positive effect on children’s education.
In our first issue of the new academic year, we present a detailed guide to parents to ease children into the new school year. After consulting parenting experts, counselors and pediatricians, our correspondents have compiled an excellent back-to-school guide offering useful advice on prepping preschoolers for the first day of school, buying eco-friendly school supplies, a children’s health and nutrition guide, recommendations for boosting children’s concentration and an advisory on limiting children’s digital screen time. In short, we present a ready-reckoner for parents to plan a low-stress, productive and enjoyable academic year.
There’s much else in this issue of ParentsWorld which 18 months after it was launched, is attracting an enthusiastic national readership. Check out the Early Childhood section on protecting children from eye strain. The nexgen’s fascination with electronic gadgets is resulting in them spending disproportionate amounts of time before computer screens, tablets, mobile phones, etc. This can seriously damage children’s visual health, say ophthalmologists. In our Health & Nutrition section, Vellore-based pediatrician Dr. Gita Mathai offers excellent advice on the importance of children getting sufficient sleep. In our Middle Years feature, life skills trainer Jayalakshmi Vaidyanathan explains how drama and theatre education can improve cognition, creativity, confidence and other life skills of children.