Summer break is winding down for the kiddos. As you send your children back to school, we want to make sure you and your family are supported. Whether you’re a student, parent, or educator, the transition back to school can be both exciting and overwhelming. To ensure a smooth and successful return to the classroom, we’ve prepared recommendations for back-to-school:

1. Prioritize Mental and Emotional Well-Being

For students, the transition can be filled with anxiety and uncertainty, especially after prolonged breaks. Encourage open conversations about their feelings and provide a supportive environment to address any concerns.

For parents and educators, it’s crucial to take care of themselves too. A calm and balanced mindset enables them to better support their children and students. Utilize mindfulness techniques, practice self-care, and reach out for support when needed.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, or in need of help, but don’t know where to turn, we recommend you start here: ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES. They have free resources and help finding professionals you can talk to.


2. Establish Routines and Set Clear Expectations

Routine is key to a successful transition back to school. We advise setting up a daily schedule that includes ample time for sleep, study, play, and family interactions. Consistency in routines helps children feel secure and prepared for the school day.

Furthermore, setting clear expectations for behavior and academic performance will provide a sense of structure. Communicate these expectations openly and positively, encouraging your child to take ownership of their responsibilities.

Arizona Head Start Association has some resources available that may be helpful.  Visit their website here to learn more: AHSA.


3. Foster a Supportive Learning Environment

As an educator, Coach Decker understands the significance of creating a supportive learning environment. He recommends that educators get to know their students individually, taking note of their strengths and areas of improvement. Celebrate successes and encourage growth by offering constructive feedback.

Parents can also play a significant role in fostering a supportive learning environment. Engage in open communication with teachers to stay updated on your child’s progress and work together to address any challenges that may arise.

The Arizona State Board of Education also have resources and information parents and educators both will find helpful.


4. Encourage Extracurricular Involvement

Participating in extracurricular activities can enhance a student’s overall educational experience. Coach Decker advises students to explore their interests and passions outside the classroom, whether it’s joining a sports team, a club, or engaging in volunteer work. These activities not only offer new learning opportunities but also help build valuable life skills such as teamwork, time management, and leadership.

Our Martial Arts for Kids programs are currently being hosted by the Mesa Parks and Recreation Department. The City of Mesa Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities Department contribute to our healthy and vibrant community by providing exceptional experiences and services to those who live, work and play in Mesa.  Not only does our Parks & Recreation Department provide amazing facilities for residents to enjoy as well as sports and recreation for all, but there are also activities and support for adaptive learners and adults of every age and ability.

Our Mat Monkeys program is Martial Art themed physical education for primary aged children four to nine years of age. We have two classes available depending on your child’s age: Mat Monkeys 1 for kids 4 to 6 years. And Mat Monkeys 2 for kids 7 to 9 years. We also offer Jr. Judo, an introduction to traditional Kodokan Judo, for children who are ten to fifteen years of age. Kids in our Judo program learn how to fall safely and are introduced to the basic throws and hold-downs, as well as Japanese terminology of this traditional Martial Art that is also a modern Olympic sport. Of course, there are other sporting and recreational opportunities as well. View them all here: Activity Guide.


5. Stay Positive and Embrace Change

Coach Decker reminds us that a positive attitude towards change can make a significant difference in the back-to-school transition. Embrace the opportunities for growth and learning that come with each new academic year. Instead of focusing on the challenges, view them as opportunities to overcome and develop resilience.

By staying positive and open to challenges as opportunities, we often find kinship with others on the same journey and that kinship can form a sort of makeshift community. We’re here to be of service and others share our philosophy of service.

We highly recommend families familiarize themselves with Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Account.  Some families are eligible for some financial assistance through this taxpayer funded program. ESA dollars cover multiple education expenses such as private school tuition, curricula, educational supplies, tutoring and more.

The City of Mesa Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities Department also offers a Scholarship for a discount on the City’s recreational camps and classes. Find out if more, if you qualify and to apply: HERE. Coach Decker will give the same discount to all community members who qualify.  Contact us directly with our question regarding how to apply the scholarship to our “instructor fee”.


6. Update Vaccinations and Follow Health Guidelines

Lastly, while the COVID-19 pandemic crisis may be behind us, health and hygiene remains a top priority of Coach Decker Martial Arts Academy. Because ensuring the safety of students and staff is a top priority of Coach Decker, he urges everyone to stay informed of all the current guidelines issued by health authorities. And encourage eligible students and adults to get vaccinated (Flu, etc.) to create a safer learning environment for everyone.

In addition to vaccinations, practicing good hygiene habits, such as regular handwashing and sanitizing, remains crucial in preventing the spread of illnesses. For information about updating your child’s immunizations, visit the Maricopa County’s: Department of Health > Programs for Residents > Child Immunizations.

In conclusion, the back-to-school season can be a time of excitement and growth when approached with the right mindset and support. Coach Decker’s advice offers valuable insights for students, parents, and educators to ensure a successful and fulfilling academic year. Remember to prioritize mental and emotional well-being, establish routines, follow health guidelines, foster a supportive environment, encourage extracurricular involvement, and embrace change. By doing so, we can all contribute to a successful back-to-school experience for everyone involved.