Preparing for Back to School
If you’ve looked at the calendar lately, you know that it’s almost time to send the kids back to school. That means it’s time for the summer fun to end and time to get ready for school and all it brings.
So, if it’s been the summer of fun at your place – meaning crazy bedtimes, a little more screen time than normal, and a few more popsicles and chips than you planned for – you’ll appreciate these tips to help you get back into the swing of things and get the kids ready for learning.
- Start the School Schedule Now: Yes, things can get a little relaxed in the summer. Bedtime may be later – which means the kids probably don’t rise as early either. Breakfast might be at 10 a.m. with lunch at 1:30 p.m. and dinner closer to 8 p.m. And that may work for you during the summer.
- But when school starts, the schedule may need to be drastically switched. To help the kids get used to the change, start it now – even before school begins. Get the kids used to their school bedtime and wake-up time – so they’re not as grumpy when school starts.
- Bring Back Healthy Foods: If the summer saw your kids reaching for popsicles more often than apples – you may want to make sure your home is stocked with healthy snacks. Fruit, string cheese, hummus and veggies, yogurt, and trail mix are all excellent snacks that kids love.
- Go School Shopping: If you’ve received a list of supplies that your child needs for school – start shopping now rather than waiting until the day before school starts. Lots of stores have sales in August, which makes it more economical to get things now. Plus, you might want to pick up some extras if you think your child will need more mid-year.
- Start to Limit Screen Time: The school year probably means homework and more time spent reading. This also means there is less time to be spent on screens. Take the time now to discuss your expectations for screen time. Will your child be allowed on when all homework is complete? Will they only have a certain amount of time per day? What about weekends? When kids know what to expect, it makes change easier.
- Enroll Kids in Activities: Is your child looking forward to participating in soccer or dance classes this fall? Then make sure you are looking for those opportunities now. It’s time to get your child enrolled in the extracurricular activities that they’re interested in.
- Check-In With Your Childcare Provider: If you need before and/or after school childcare, make sure you’ve got everything arranged with your provider. This may mean contacting the school to change bussing or paying your deposit to secure a spot.
- Establish a Homework Zone: Your kids will need a place where they can comfortably and quietly work on homework. It can be in their room or in a common place in your home. No matter where it is – make sure it’s all ready for them – so that when the homework begins, they’ll be set.
- Think Educationally: There are still a few days before school begins, so now’s the time to think educationally. Plan a field trip to a museum or your local library. Teach the kids a new craft or recipe. (Yes, those both can be educational!) Or, if they’re begging for screen time, direct them to a few of your favorite fun but educational websites.
Now’s the time to get the kids excited about returning to school – and with a little planning, you can make the transition smooth for everyone.