It seems like just yesterday that we stored backpacks in coat closets and turned off our kids’ alarm clocks. Summer has flown by quickly — store shelves are now filled with shiny new school supplies and the back-to-school countdown has begun.
Anticipating the start of school can be stressful, particularly for children who have a hard time with new routines. But with a little advanced preparation now, you can make the back-to-school transition easier on your kids…and yourself!
Seven things you can do NOW to avoid back-to-school chaos
- Take some time to de-clutter your children’s bedrooms and closets. Less clutter means fewer distractions. This is not only helpful if your kids study in their rooms, but it also makes for easier morning routines. For younger children, hang clothing in closets (or group them in drawers) by outfit to simplify choices in the morning.
- Consider beating the rush and buying school supplies and clothes early. Most office supply stores already have weekly super-savers advertised in the Sunday newspaper supplement. If you are a savvy shopper, you can save money by working through the school list over time — buying the best deals each week.
- Designate and prepare a specific area of the house for your children to do homework. Prepare this area with supplies, good lighting and a clear workspace so that your children are excited to begin their homework routine. If your children study at the kitchen table or another multi-purpose space, find a box or bin (one for each child) for supplies and papers.
- Reduce the amount of television your children watch and increase the amount of reading they are doing. If your children are in middle or high school, make sure they have completed any required summer schoolwork. Help them develop a schedule for summer work if they tend to procrastinate.
- Plan now to complete any forms that require appointments or professional signatures (such as immunization records, notarized proof of residency, or sports forms).
- Re-establish bedtime and mealtime routines (especially breakfast) at least one week before school begins. You may have to do this gradually if your kids have been sleeping late!
- If you have an anxious child, schedule a few play-dates with classmates the week before school begins.
A little advanced preparation now will enable you to enjoy these last few weeks of summer while making a smooth back to school transition.