While you might be one of those parents that are counting the days until school starts again, there are some that are absolutely dreading back to school! There is a lot to prepare for – between rearranging schedules and school supplies. It’s a lot to tackle. However, these Tips to Get Ready for Back to School are sure to help!
First things first! Let’s get everyone back on that early morning schedule. Now is the time to make those changes. During these last two weeks before school starts, slowly start easing children back into that school year bed-time and waking them earlier and earlier in the mornings. This will help eliminate that first day shock and melt downs from over tired kids.
If you haven’t already, secure medical forms from the school and schedule an appointment with your physician to make sure your children have completed the required immunizations and/or sports physicals. Don’t forget dental check-ups if they are due. Also, schedule time to get haircuts for fresher looks a few days before school starts.
Make a Command Center
With the start of school also comes the countless other after school activities and it can get crazy especially if you have more than one child! With sports practice, scout meetings, and music lessons, it can be hard to keep track of. To make life easier, create a centralized space/command center in your home for all family calendars and schedules. Make it a one-stop spot for all your activities.
It doesn’t have to be fancy, it’s more about function. It can be as simple as a large square calendar with plenty of room to add your daily activities. You can also use a preprinted white board calendar which makes for easy revisions. Go an extra step and color code entries for each family member. Keep your to-do lists, school lunch calendars, and permission slips here as well. Be as creative as you want, just make it make sense and easily read by all family members and be sure to place it where it can be seen by all!
I know you’ve already seen it while at the store, that big yellow card board stand with all the school supply lists! Go ahead and grab your school’s list and get planning. Maybe you had some extra supplies left over from last year? Or if you’re lucky, your child’s teacher sent home a few leftover supplies from last year. Be sure to go through what you already have at home and check those off the list before heading back to the store to get the remaining items.
Similarly, this is a great time to go through each child’s clothing and assess each child’s clothing needs. Clear out/donate outgrown or worn out clothing and create a needs list for each child. Set a budget and go! Be sure to shop early, it may be tempting to wait until that much anticipated tax-free weekend. However, due to crowds, you may have a hard time locating just what you need. Balance saving a few bucks with saving your sanity!
Ease the Morning Rush
Plan ahead to avoid the morning rush, especially that first week back to school. It’s going to take some time to get back into the swing of things and planning ahead will make that transition smoother. Find ways to lighten your load in the mornings. Set the breakfast table after you clear dinner dishes, prep water bottles, pack lunches, and pick out snacks the night before. Create a grab and go station for snacks in your pantry and fridge for quick packing. Lay out clothing for the next day before bed. Check folders and backpacks before dinner for missing homework, projects and library books. Have musical instruments and sports bags ready to go. On that first day, be sure to stick any paperwork the teacher gave you ahead of time to fill out in your child’s backpacks.
Practice Getting to School
Will your child be taking the bus? Walking to school? Or will they be car-pooling with a neighbor? The first day of school is not the time to find out it takes longer than expected to get to school. Practice walking to the bus stop (so they know where it is!) or to the school if walking to see realistically how much time they really need to make it on time. If car-pooling, don’t forget to account for rush hour traffic.
Create a File System
Your child will be bringing home a TON of papers. Go through each one and find the ones that are worth keeping. That cute little artwork from their first year in school-definitely a keeper. The math practice sheet, not so much. Keep things that will show how far they’ve come along in school (writing journals) or that have meaning to them or you (adorable art project they worked so hard to complete). Create a file box or cabinet drawer for each child and keep a folder or box for each year/semester.
Have a Supply Stash
Picture this scenario…it’s 8pm and you’re out of poster board for your child’s project that is due the next day. Skip these frantic moments and make a supply stash. You don’t need to go overboard, just have a few backups of some common school items, such as markers, poster board, index cards, pencils, notebook paper, etc., on hand to avoid those last-minute freak-outs.
Have Dinner Planned
Take the guess work out by planning meals ahead of time every weekend. You can add a meal planner to your command center. Post upcoming meals including when eating out to help all family members, especially teenagers make plans accordingly. Have kids participate by making suggestions and leave some space for notes to your spouse for a last-minute missing ingredient.
Do you have questions about your child’s school? Be sure to visit your school district’s website for more information!