No doubt your kids had a great time this summer. Bed times and wake times went out the window, and you and your kids were able to take it easy and enjoy whatever the day may bring. But September is creeping around the corner, and soon you’ll be in full schedule mode, getting up early, doing homework and making lunches. While it’s tempting to delay the inevitable, easing your child and yourself back in routine will make it easier to transition.
1. Get your kid excited with a back to school countdown calendar. Each day in the countdown should be something to look forward to: 12 days before school we bake cookies, 11 days before school we go swimming, etc.
2. Do a bedtime routine. Lay out clothes, make lunches and do everything you would normally do the night before when school is in session.
3. Wake yourself and your kids up a little earlier every day. As hard as it is, set that alarm to buzz closer and closer to your normal wake time each day until school starts. It helps to start going to bed a little earlier each day as well.
4. Ask the school for a classroom supply list. You DO NOT want to be that mom looking at picked over school supplies Sunday night before school starts. School supply sales begin late July, so you can still get great deals if you shop early on. Also, consider bringing some Greenshield Organic Surface Cleaners to your child’s new classroom, so the teacher can start out the year toxic chemical free.
5. Clean out the dressers and closets. It’s time to assess inventory of everything that’s too worn and too small. Pick out what will work as hand-me-downs to younger siblings, and make a list of all clothes you will need BEFORE going clothes shopping.
6. Get your calendar in order. Do your kids go to different schools with different drop-off times? Do you enroll them in piano lessons or team sports? Put together a family master calendar so you can decide early on who picks up and drops off whom and where.
7. Get your paperwork in order. Call your child’s school to find out what records they may need for your child to attend school. Many schools require immunization records, a copy of the birth certificate and the previous year’s report cards, and if your child is participating in a school sport, a medical examination may be in order.
8. Set up a homework space and docking station for backpacks and lunches. You don’t want to be caught off guard when the kids come home from their first day of school, their backpacks strewn across the living room and crumpled pieces of paper in their hands that you have to sign. Create a space where backpacks can be hung and lunchboxes can be stored. Also include an inbox/outbox for any permission slips you need to sign.
9. Do a practice run. It won’t hurt to do a run-through including getting kids clean, dressed and fed, piling in the car and driving to their respective schools. You may find that you need to adjust your morning timeline so your kids won’t be marked tardy.
Bye, bye summer – we will miss you! Hello, school year. Can’t wait to learn and make new friends!