Heading back to school can be both an exciting and stressful time for both kids and parents. If you play it smart you can avoid unnecessary stress and make going from staying at home to heading back to school a smooth transition. Having two school aged children myself I have found what makes my life easier and what doesn’t when it comes to back to school. I will now share just five things you can do to make going back to school stress free.
1. Kids who have just started elementary, middle, or high school can expect many of the same supplies to be on their list each school year. My child’s school hands out a flyer each year with a list for each grade. I have noticed that there isn’t much change in the making up of these lists each year. You can use this to your advantage and purchase items for the next few years of school in one trip. Some office supply stores and department stores will have specials which will require you to purchase a certain amount of an item, say a pack of pencils, which you may not need all of in one school year. Go ahead and purchase the extra amounts and store them for the upcoming years. Elementary school children often are required to have markers and crayons, middle school and high school children may need calculators and protractors. Then there are items which are often found on lists no matter what grade your child is in such as pencils and notebooks. Buying enough for the upcoming years will save you time in the following years which you would have spent shopping.
2. Early to bed, early to rise. If your children have enjoyed a later bedtime during the summer months you may want to start putting them to bed at the same time you expect them to on a school night. You can make the transition easier by starting a few weeks ahead of time and decreasing their bedtimes by half an hour each week. This way your kids will get used to going to bed earlier and won’t head back to school feeling cranky and tired.
3. Time to bring out the backpacks and lunch boxes once again. In order to make your back to school morning stress free come up with a morning routine and practice with the kids a week before school starts. Hanging hooks next to the front door for backpacks makes them easy to find, cereal and bowls set out on the counter makes breakfast prep easy, and having lunches mostly packed the night before will give you extra time in the morning. You may even want to come up with a morning time table for your elementary school aged child to help them figure out what they need to do and the order they should do it in. Practicing your morning routine before school starts allows you the time to tweak the schedule to fit your family’s specific needs.
4. Is your child entering kindergarten, starting middle school, or going to a new school for the first time? Take your child by the school and help them get acquainted. You may even be able to call the school and arrange for a tour of the school for you and your child. The more your child knows about his or her school the less scary it may seem. If your child is nervous or shy you should share this information by writing it on their registration form so that the teacher may be able to help them to adjust to their new environment. Your school should also have a website which you can visit with your child allowing them to familiarize themselves with the teachers, principal, and staff at the school.
5. Host a back to school party, how big or small depends on you. Now that summer vacation is almost at an end it’s time to have some last minute fun before school, homework, and after school activities take up all of you and your child’s time. You could host a simple sleepover in the living room for your kids and maybe even mom and/or dad. Pop some popcorn and watch movies which have a school theme. Or you could throw a party for your child and the neighborhood kids. You could host a summer time tropical themed party in your backyard to say goodbye to summer before heading back to school. You could even treat the kids to pizza and a trip to the local ice cream parlor as their last summer vacation dinner or as the dinner to celebrate their first day of school. Your kids just may look forward to going back to school each year when you make it fun!