I can’t believe I am saying this already, but it is that time of year again. It is the time of year when children and parents are getting ready to go back to school. Although everyone’s budget is tighter now, it still is fun for children to be able to pick out their school supplies.
In fact, having children participate in this annual ritual helps with the back-to-school blues or anxiety. Some children just plain enjoy going back to school, and this is just the start of the new school year excitement.
The US Census Bureau puts out facts and figures regarding this special time of year.
Here go some of those:
The amount of money spent at children’s clothing stores, August 2006, was $7.1 billion. Of course, only in the holiday shopping season October, November, December were sales greater than $5 billion.
The number of students that were projected to be enrolled in US elementary and high school students fall 2006 was 55.8 million. This number surpasses the total in 1969 when the last of the baby boom children expanded school enrollments.
Home-schooled children, ages 5 to 17, make up 2 percent of all school-age students.
Twenty-one percent of high school students, ages 15 to 17, are holding down a part-time job.
Of course, beyond high school, there are opportunities for more schooling. About 18 million students were projected to be enrolled in US colleges and universities, fall of 2006. This is an increase from 12.4 million 25 years ago.
It costs money to go to college and the cost keeps rising. The average tuition, and room and board at our nation’s four-year public colleges and universities for one academic year is $13,425, which is more than double from 1990.
The average cost to attend a private college or university in the US for one academic year is $36,510, which is also more than double the cost from 1990.
But it pays, literally, to receive some type of degree after high school. The average yearly earnings of workers age 18 and older with an advanced degree is $79,946. This compares with $51,206 a year with someone with a bachelor’s degree, $27, 915 for someone with a high school diploma only, and $18,734 for someone without a high school diploma.
Petroleum engineering is among the highest average yearly starting salary of $67,069. At the other end, those majoring in the humanities field receive the lowest salary offer, with a yearly starting salary of $31,565.
As mentioned, children experience a mixed array of feelings as they prepare and go back to school. There are things that we, as parents, can do to make this transition easier. One of those things is just listening to our children and acknowledging their feelings, whatever they may be.
We can also share some of our own back-to-school experiences with our children. We can share with them how we overcame our fears and feelings. This also helps build connections with our children, too.
Because the summer is more relaxed and less structured, children’s sleep schedules are much more relaxed in the summer, too.
Professionals suggest that we need to help our children get back into a structured bed routine, and not just the night before school starts. Their bodies need time to readjust. It is extremely important that children get enough sleep to take on the challenges of school.