It is hard to believe that we are getting ready to go back to school. Where did the summer go, and how can we rewind and get it back?
I never feel ready for the hustle and bustle that is about to hit and I also miss the kids when they go back to school.
Back to school is stressful for our kids also. They worry and wonder too. It is a big adjustment and anything we can do to ease their minds will help.
Here are key things that we can do to make Back to School Better for the whole family.
First, here are 2 things just for ME and YOU.
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. 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.
1. Establish a sleeping and eating schedule.
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.
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. 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.
4. 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 your 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.
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. If your child is going to ride a bus, practice (drive) the bus route also. Rehearse the drop off and pick up locations, and drive the route so kids know how things are going to work.
6. 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.
7. Prepare the house.
Take some time before school starts to get the house ready. Designate a Drop Zone. This is a place for backpacks, coats, school papers, etc... All the things that kids like to drop on the floor right inside the door when they come home from school. Kids are much more likely to help keep things clean and organized if they know where things belong. Having a place for these everyday articles will make school go much smoother. It will make finding everything in the morning much easier and less stressful, and it will keep you from feeling like the new school year has taken over your house.
A little preparation will go a long ways. Preparing ourselves, our families and our homes will make going Back to School a good experience for everyone.
Are you ready for your kids to go back to school?
How do you prepare for Back to School?
(We talked about most of these tips last year too!)