Consider the age of your kids when you prepare for going back to school as different kids have different needs. Below are some general guidelines as well as some specific suggestions to make sure the return to class is a positive experience.
- Sleeping – Two to three weeks before school starts, begin “training” and “preparing” for the school schedule. Go to sleep and wake in the morning like it is a school day.
- Eating – Begin preparing healthier foods and start back with family meals. Also encourage your kids to have lunch at the same time they would during the school day.
2. Plan Your After-School Time
- Homework-Discuss homework rules and schedules before the school year begins to avoid arguing. Know what time kids should start working and predetermine consequences when these goals are not met.
- Extra-curriculars and after school programs – Collaborate with the kids about what they will do after school to assist with sign up, tryout schedules, and time management.
3. Back to School Shopping – it is time to purge the closets and determine what new clothes and outfits your child needs. Also look through school supplies and learn what needs to be replaced and what additional materials are needed to be purchased. Organize a day with the kids to have lunch and go shopping.
4. Calendar Dates – Review the school calendar and know important dates and times. What are the hours of the first few days of school, when are back-to-school nights and parent conferences, what are the dates of important tests like the ACT and SAT.
5. Hit the books early. Make sure any summer work is completed a couple of weeks before school starts.
6. Appointments- Schedule school physicals, eye exams and hearing tests if you have not already done so. Waiting until the last minute can cause unwanted stress.
7. Positive Attitudes – While some students are excited about the return to school, others have anxiety. Reinforce the good things like seeing old friends, doing a favorite sport or activity, and starting fresh. Don’t remind kids of last year’s pitfalls.
Back-to-school is not just about the kids; it impacts the entire family. Prepare well, stay organized, and set clear boundaries to ensure a stress free start to the new school year.