It’s currently mid-August, so you know what that means: “back to school” season is in full swing and the new school year is right around the corner!
That means new teachers, new classes, new routines, new friends, and of course, new responsibilities.
Everyone knows back-to-school time can be stressful for the kids, but that doesn’t mean the parents have it easy! It’s a tough trip for us, too.
Ease the transition back to school by preparing with these 5 helpful tips for success.
1. Reach Out to Teachers Early
As soon as you can, start communicating with your children’s teacher[s]. They’ll be your first point of contact in the school and can help ease your concerns about the new year and what will be expected of your child and you.
Most importantly, by communicating with your children’s teacher early, you may be able to get a jump on your back-to-school shopping. As soon as you get your list of essentials, get your shopping out of the way as early as possible.
2. Get Your Back-to-School Shopping Done Early
Once you know what your child will need for the school year, or at least for the first day or week of school, you can create a list and complete your shopping.
Earlier is better, again, because other parents will also be on a mad dash to get it all out of the way.
Also, once you get all those supplies, make sure you keep them all organized and in a safe place until you’re actually ready to load up the backpacks and start the year – if you lose them, they’ll hardly be any good to you!
3. Establish Routines Ahead of Time
Unless it’s actually the first time you’re sending your child off somewhere away from home, breathe deep. You’ve done this before. You’re a veteran.
Create a routine schedule ahead of time to help you make sure you’re prepared for everything you can in advance
For instance, if you know your children will be staying after school for clubs, sports, or extracurricular activities, make sure you set up ride schedules in advance and plan meals and clothing beforehand.
Figure out each child’s daily schedule, taking into account what each of them will be doing before and after school. Then look at your own schedule and budget time accordingly, giving extra time to complete any prerequisite tasks.
4. Get Organized to Help Ease Stress
Being organized is on many levels an effective antidote to stress. When everything is in its place, things just seem to go more smoothly.
One way that can help stay organized is to help your child set up his or her backpack and belongings (involving them, not doing it for them) and explain where and why each item goes where it does. You can also create a checklist for your child to reference in order to ensure that everything is where it should be throughout the day.
Be that as it may, some children take a little longer to fall into routines and it's natural for personal items to be misplaced. That’s why we also recommend using school labels wherever possible to keep track of your children’s personal belongings. That way, if they do get lost, it’s more likely you’ll be able to recover them later.
We recommend the school labels available online at Sticky Monkey Labels (StickyMonkeyLabels.com). They sell convenient school label packs (either 64 or 138 packs) in cute designs and a variety of sizes which are waterproof, durable, dishwasher and microwave safe, and so much more – perfect for labeling notebooks, water bottles, lunch boxes, binders, calculators, and many other school supplies. (Also, in addition to their labels for school supplies, they also sell clothing labels, baby bottle labels, and much more!)
5. Prepare for the Mornings (In Advance)
One more word to the wise. Don’t leave the “morning of” until the morning. Prepare your children’s meals (and yours, if you can) ahead of time. It’s also a good idea to set aside outfits (again, for yourself and for the children) the night before so you don’t waste precious time lost in a morning fog.
Also, whatever time you think you need to be up – set your alarm clock for an extra 15 minutes or a half hour earlier than that. You can’t be too early, but you can be late!