He Said...She Said...Tips for back to school

Our daughters first day of Kindergarten (August 2010)

Hard to believe that the summer is coming to a close. Last night at dinner my husband commented that this has been his favorite summer ever. I might have to agree. We have taken things slow. Enjoyed our new little girl, and left all we could undone, as to not rush back into crazy family life. It has been wonderful.

School starts for the kids next Monday and I will be very sad to see them go. I love having them home. I love not having to be anywhere specific. Our two oldest will both be at school all day this year and I will have our three year old and newborn at home. It will be an adjustment, but we are ready to settle back into the routine, BLOGGING INCLUDED, thanks for your patience. :)

Last week I told the kids that we were getting back into our routine. That included bedtime. We didn't let it slide too much over the summer, but a little. We have more adjusting to do in the morning than at night. Our mornings are pretty lazy around here. It is time to start the routine and get used to it before the first day.

That is what I said...

Then, yesterday I overheard my husband telling the kids that this was the last week of summer so they could live it up. Staying up later to ride bikes, go for walks, watch a favorite show, what ever they wanted.

That is what he said....

We talked about it after he took them on a bike ride and they got in bed two hours after they were supposed to. He hit me with "they are only young once", and "soon it will be Winter and they won't be able to go outside and ride bikes at all", as well as "they will be fine, you worry to much, relax."

That is not the first time we have disagreed on something. I am sure it won't be the last. :)

Regardless of what he says...There are some key things we can do this week, to make the first week of school more successful.

1. Get YOUR good attitude ready.
If we have a good attitude, so will our children. No scoffs or scowls. No complaints about getting up early, or driving, or packing lunches. Be happy, excited, and talk about all the great things that come with school and learning. This also means keeping our emotions at bay. If your child is going to kindergarten and you are sad, try to keep your tears to private time. Even tears of joy worry children. You don't want your five your old to think they should stay home so you won't cry.

2. Turn off the TV (especially in the mornings). 
Instead, have your children color, do puzzles, write stories, play games, read or read to them, etc...This will get their brains working and concentrating again. It will also help their attention spans. In a few short days they are going to have to sit and focus and self motivate. Help them start doing that now.

3. Establish a sleeping and eating schedule. (even if your hubby disagrees.)
For the next week, be sure that bed times and wake up times, as well as meal times follow your upcoming school schedule. First, it will keep your kids rested so that the first few days are not too overwhelming. Remember, everything is more stressful when we are tired. And it will start to condition their bodies to the new times. The meal times are really important also. It you have been eating lunch at 11 all summer, but they won't eat until 12:15 when they are at school, their little bodies will be huuuungry. Feed them at the appropriate times so they are adjusted.

4. Round up the necessary school supplies.
Not only will you be ready, but kids worry about having what they need. For most kids, waiting until the last minute to pack those supplies makes them worry. Do your best to check off the supply list early this week so that your youngsters don't loose sleep over it. An added bonus...your kids won't keep asking every ten minutes when you are going to go get the school supplies because you will already have them.

5. Attend back to school night...visit the school.
This one is really important. Attend back to school night so your children can meet their teachers, see where they are sitting, and get an overall feel of how things work. While you are there, run through the library, playground, lunch room, meeting places for drop off and pick up and anything else they are curious about. Don't rush, so that you children can ask questions and get answers. They will feel much better if they know what to expect and where to go that first day.

6. Practice.
At least once, twice if you can, take a practice run. Set the alarms, get up, go through the routine, and drive to school. See how things go and trouble shoot any problems. Maybe you need to move where you put the backpacks, or it takes a little longer to drive to school than you thought. Go through the motions and help your kids understand what has to be done each morning to be on time.

7. Find out who else is in your child's class.
Here in Utah, class lists go up tomorrow. We will be looking to see if our kids know any of their class mates. If they do, great, explain that they already know someone. That will ease their mind. If they don't, and your children are worried, think about contacting a few of the children and maybe getting together at the park so they can meet and make friends. Then, on the first day, when they walk in, they will be surrounded by friends, not strangers.

8. Clear OUR schedule the first week of school.
Try to clear your schedule the first week of school so that you are available for your kids. Even if they are not going to a new school, the first week is still stressful. If possible, have a lot of down time after school where you are there to listen if they need to talk. Keep your schedule free from obligations so that you are there to help.

SO.... who's side are you on?


Even if you live it up, I won't hold it against you. ;)


  1. School started today in New Mexico and we tried to settle into a routine for the past few weeks--we just moved here from UT and I was worried about the transition. School starts an hour earlier here than in Utah. We've also been doing mommy school all summer to help keep their brains working, and it seems to have gone pretty well. My son came running out of school this morning with his fist in the air screaming "Best. Day. EVER!" Seriously. My second grade, seven-year-old son liked school. That's a first.

  2. I will say that we try and live it up after daddy gets home...and then get them in to bed by 7:30. Since the kids get on the bus at 7:15 (yep, kindergarteners too!)..they are going to be tired little munchins next week.

  3. Emily, glad to hear the family is adjusting. Moves can be stressful. I love "mommy school". Helps them so much when they go back to school. What a pretty picture to see your son running out of school cheering. Good work mom.

  4. Katie, they won't mind being tired if it means they get to play with daddy. That's how our kids feel also. Do you have a kindergartener this year? That first year is always an adjustment. I think more for parents than kids.

  5. I would do a combination of the two and slowly ease back in.

  6. I would like to settle back into a routine, but this school year has come way too fast. We start in less than a week. I guess I better get too work if I am going to make any progress.

  7. I am on your side Heather. I have found that my girls do much better when they know what to expect. It reduces morning fits or meltdowns. We don't start until September 7th so I expect to get a little earlier bedtime next week.

  8. Back to school requires adjustment and you are right, it doesn't happen overnight. We have turned off the tv in the mornings and my kids are still balking and we've been in school now for three weeks! What is that old expression about it taking 30 days to establish a new habit?

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