Moms all over the country are counting the days until “back to school”, while kids are busy packing in every last minute of fun and relaxation available. The following are a few tips to ease your family’s transition to the school day schedule.
• School supplies: Many schools publish lists of needed supplies early. Save time by shopping now, while stores are less crowded and prices are low. Buy in bulk – you will likely need paper, pencils, and pens for many years to come, so go ahead and stock up now.
• Clothing: Plan to take each child shopping well in advance of the first week of school. I prefer, when possible, to take each child individually. I’m fortunate that my children wear uniforms for school, so we don’t have many disagreements over style. Prior to leaving on your shopping trip, assess your child’s current clothing. Determine what fits properly, is still in style and will last through the season. Donate clothing your child has outgrown to a charitable organization’s thrift store. Then, make a list of your needs and shop only for items on your list. Prior to shopping, be sure to check with your school with regards to dress code regulations and do not purchase items which do not meet the school’s dress code.
• Hair and grooming: Most children, especially boys, will need haircuts after the lazy days of summer. Do yourself a favor and take them now rather than waiting until the last minute and facing long wait times. Also, now is a good time to stock up on personal care products for the coming year, to restock toothbrushes, and to determine the pecking order for shower schedules.
• Sleep schedule transition: Most families allow a later bed time routine during the less busy summer months. Children’s sleep schedules become shifted, staying up later and sleeping in later in the morning. A few weeks prior to the start of school, begin to have children go to bed earlier and begin waking them up earlier this morning. I am learning that this is particularly important with my pre-teen son, who is suddenly requiring more sleep. If children fight this earlier bed time, allow them to read in bed to ease the transition.
• Meet your teachers: If possible, drop by your children’s school in the weeks prior to the first day to meet your child’s teacher. Most of these dedicated professionals will can be found organizing and decorating classrooms in anticipation of the start of the new year. If you are fortunate enough to arrange such a meeting, introduce yourself and your child and offer your help. Most teachers will welcome this type of volunteer work and your child will be the beneficiary.
Many additional details will remain to be taken care of prior to the first day of school, but time spent in the weeks prior will help to ease the transition for your entire family. Speak with your child now about his or her goals for the coming school year. Obtain the school calendar and work to arrange vacations, doctor’s appointments and other meetings during off school time. Do your best to face the school year in an organized fashion and before you know it, you’ll be counting the days until summer!