A new school year is just around the corner here in the Northeast – in about two weeks! For the first time we’ll be heading back to school BEFORE Labor Day – a rarity in this part of the country.
Switching from the laid-back “fun in the sun” of summer to rules, homework, and new routines can be a big challenge not only for children, but for us parents too! However, with a little preparation and the right attitude, getting back into the school routine doesn’t have to be so hard.
So this installment of “5 Things You Need to Know About” is dedicated to BTS — tips to introduce over the next two weeks in order to help ease your child from a summer schedule back into school mode.
1 – Get Back on a Bedtime/Wake-up Schedule – During the summer staying up late and sleeping in are the norm. Re-introduce your school year bedtime and wake-up time at least a week or two before school starts. By getting your bedtime/wake-up routine in place before the start of school, your child will (hopefully) be less resistant to the early morning!
2 – Back to School Shopping – Most schools put out their supply lists before the end of the prior school year. Don’t wait until the last-minute to stock up – because most supplies will be picked over. Prices are usually low for supplies around school time, so stock up not only for the start of school, but for the entire school year.
Don’t go overboard on wardrobe, just make sure you have a few key pieces for the start of school – and of course a killer outfit for the first day of school! Wait a few weeks to settle in and see what the kids are wearing. You don’t want to buy your child something they love now, but in a few weeks will hate!
Also, some states have sales tax holidays in August for back to school. Make a list of all the items you need and shop the sales. Knowing where the bargains are will help you save.
3 – Create a Central Calendar – Each school year is filled with tons of events and activities — sports practices/game schedules, scout meetings, music lessons, dance lessons and playdates for the kids and lunch menus, school functions and teacher conferences for the parents.
Create one centralized site for your family’s schedule. Use a large paper calendar that you can write in info and tear off at the end of the month or purchase a pre-printed whiteboard calendar that you can re-use each month. Color code your entries by family member for an easy way to see where your family needs to be!
4 – Gather Your Papers – Call your school or check their website to find out what paperwork is required for school entry — immunization records, medical examinations, proof of residency, etc. You don’t want to be scrambling on your first day to find and get these records to your school – as they may delay your child from starting class.
The first day of school also often brings lots of homework — for the parents, in the form of paperwork to fill out such as emergency contacts, permission slips, best numbers/times for teachers to reach you at, etc. Fill forms out as soon as they come home and return them the next day so teachers and the school don’t have to track you down.
5 – Warm Up The Brain – Before a game, athletes warm up and stretch out in order to get their muscles ready to work. Now while it’s not technically a muscle, the same goes for the brain.
Get children’s minds ready for learning again with some easy assignments before school starts. Have children read their favorite book aloud to you or a sibling. Print out/create your own simple math worksheets or have them write a short story about their favorite part of summer vacation.
Now it’s your turn to share. What character was on your lunchbox when you were growing up?
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