I can’t believe we’re already halfway through August! The first day of school will be here before you know. While it’s not time to bust out the cameras for the back to school pictures just yet; it is time to start getting back in the swing of things before that bell rings to start the school year. Here are some helpful back to school tips I like to follow:
- Take Inventory: It’s time to clean out those closets and find out what still fits and what your children have outgrown since last school year. Make it fun! Have a fashion show; have them each take turns trying on what still fits while you compile a list of what each one needs. Pass items that are too small down to younger children and take anything left to a consignment shop to potentially make some money back.
- Check Supply Lists: The supply lists that teachers and schools send out can be never ending and often repetitive. Before you go out and purchase everything on the list, check to see what you have at home. You may have three-ring binder or spiral notebook lying around that didn’t get used from the year before.
- Mark Your Calendars and Get In Sync: The final weeks and days before school starts can be hectic for everyone. Have a calendar that has the entire family’s activities and important dates on it. If you are a more tech savvy family, remember to sync your online calendar to everyone’s so no one misses a date. If you have an after school sitter or nanny be sure to include them as well.
- After School Considerations: If you know you will need an extra hand and car to help get the children from school to extra-curricular activities and back home, start looking now. The longer you wait the more difficult it may be to find someone who fits with your schedule and needs. Whether your children are going to ride the bus, bike or walk home from school have a trial run. Make sure they know where the bus picks up and drops off each day. If they plan on biking or walking, review road and pedestrian safety guidelines with them to ensure they arrive safely.
- An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away: Visit the pediatrician and dentist and get any back to school physicals and vaccinations out of the way now so they aren’t missing any school. I suggest doing this sooner rather than later, the closer you wait until school starts the busier the doctor’s office will be.
- Meal Planning: Have nutritious food and snacks on-hand for breakfast, lunch and after school snacks. If you know your children will buy lunch at school, find out the cost ahead of time and load money to their account so you aren’t sending little ones with cash or a check that could be lost. If your child has a food allergy, alert the school staff ahead of time of your protocol and any medications that should be administered if the problem arises. Check out my blog on Breakfast On the Go here. (link for blog by Rebecca)
- Be Involved: Attend the back to school program. Meet your children’s teacher and other parents. Being president of the PTA may not be your cup of tea but volunteer to assist at classroom parties. Contact other parents and see how you can be supportive.
- Plan a Play-date and Have Some Fun: Summer break always feels like it’s over too soon and even though you may be ready to be back on a regular schedule, the younger kids might be a little more hesitant. Plan a play-date for your children to reconnect with school friends to make the first day back less overwhelming.
- Lay the Ground Rules: Establish a firm bedtime. If you want your child to go to bed at 8:30 during the school year but they have been staying up later over the summer, start gradually pushing their bedtime up 15 minutes so that difference isn’t such a shock. Determine when and where homework will be done. Having a designated homework area and time helps keep focus and all school paperwork in one general area. Set rules and limits on television, video games, and computer use for non-school related projects.
Back to school can be a stressful time for everyone. Hopefully with these handy tips the transition from summer’s end to the school year beginning will be smooth for your family. What are some of your tricks for making back to school enjoyable?