It feels a little premature to start planning for back to school, but after the 4th of July, that’s when Summer just starts to quickly slide away. I know friends whose children start school the second week of August and some who are back after Labor Day which for some of us, means we’re only weeks away from school starting.
Whether you’re ready to send the kids back to school or tearing up by just thinking about the day your Kindergartener begins the start to their academic career, your job is to help guide your kids to success and prep them so they’re excited for the start of school.
Advance preparation will help your children have happier beginnings and positive anticipation to the school year. Here are ways to be prepared but also increase the excitement and anticipation for the start of the upcoming school year.
Your school should provide you with a list of supplies each student will need to have or contribute to the classroom at the beginning of the year. Incorporate your children in this shopping trip and let me make the choices for their school supplies when necessary. Pens and pencils can be specific on school supply lists, but binders, folders, notebooks, book covers, cases and other supplies can vary by color and design and lets your children have a choice in choosing what they like the most.
NEW BACKPACK, LUNCH SACK & WATER BOTTLE
Picking out a new backpack, lunch box and water bottle for the school year is exciting and something your kids can look forward to each year. Giving them a choice in picking out new items is fun and exciting but also gives them something to look forward to using on the first day of school and during the year.
GET BEDTIMES & WAKE-UP TIMES BACK ON TRACK
During summertime, I know we’re more relaxed with bedtimes and let the kids sleep in more regularly than we normally would during the school year. Longer days of sunshine, warmer weather and a more relaxed attitude all make summer bedtimes a little later than normal.
Two weeks before school starts, begin setting bedtimes incrementally earlier. Start by putting your kids to bed 15 minutes early for several nights, increase it to 30 minutes and so on, until your kids are back to typical school night bedtimes several days before the start of school.
In the mornings, begin setting alarms if you have to, in order to get your kids – and probably yourself – back in the habit of waking up with enough time to get dressed, eat breakfast and out the door in time for school.
CREATE A DEDICATED HOMEWORK STATION
When you’re purchasing school supplies, grab some extras to keep at home. Set up a dedicated homework station in your house where your kids can drop their backpacks, grab a snack and do homework once they get home. Having a dedicated homework station where you can help and assist is best. Try to limit distractions such as placing a homework station near toys or windows that overlook the neighborhood where kids may be playing and can easily distract them from finishing homework in a reasonable amount of time.
PICK OUT A FIRST DAY OUTFIT
As a kid, I remember doing some light back to school shopping so that I could go to school in a brand-new, first day of school outfit. There is something about a new outfit that you feel great about, to boost your excitement and confidence. Let your children pick out clothes that meet school guidelines, or if your school requires uniforms, something that might embellish the uniform, their hair or shoes and gives them a little extra “something.”
Along with a first-day of school outfit, a fresh haircut will help your children feel polished, pretty and ready to enter the year with a complete head-to-toe look. I like to have our son’s hair cut about one to 1.5 weeks ahead of the start of school because it grows out just right by this time. Haircuts will be popular this time of year, so make sure you schedule ahead of time to get in before the start of school.
Pictures on the first day of school are an absolute must. It’s so fun to compare the beginning of school picture to the end of school picture and see how much your children have grown. If you are taking a picture like this, print off a sign noting the date and what grade in school your child is entering (ex: Kindergarten, August 11, 2016.)
The first day of school rush may make you forget your signs, so be sure to print these out ahead of time!
Meal plan for school lunches by asking your children’s food preferences. Listen to what they want and what they don’t prefer and what fills them up best. If your school has hot lunch options, maybe consider looking over the menu for the month and letting your kids pick out two hot lunch days a month as a special option.
If you pack a lunch on the first day of school, drop a quick note in their lunch sack as a surprise for them to find. Here are some quick notes to print, cut out, sign and drop in your kid’s lunch sack.
LAST DITCH BUCKET LIST
The end of summer and start of school can easily sneak up on you before you get all of your bucket list items checked off the list. Make one last “Week of Fun” bucket list to cross off a handful of last minute trips, adventures, outings, special treats and play time with friends. When your kids feel like they’re wrapping up summer and they’ve finished it on a high note, they’ll feel ready to start school.
What else do you do, to get ready for a brand new school year and keep the kids excited?
- 10 Ways to Rock Being a Stay at Home Mom
- The Benefits of Having a Daily Routine
- How to Create a Positive Home (And Why this Will Affect Your Kids Forever)
- 9 Ways to Build Your Child’s Confidence
- The Best Inside Activities for High-Energy Kids
- Stop Feeling Like You Have Mom Burnout
- What are the Triggers That Cause You to Yell and Lose It With Your Kids?