Summer is flying by and soon the leaves will be falling. Making the transition from summer vacation to a structured school day can be difficult for both children and parents. Even children who are eager and ready to return to school take time to adjust to the different pressures associated with school life. To help your family through this stressful time, we have listed a few things to keep in mind to simplify your back to school transition.
Master Time Management
Prepare yourself for the school year by updating your family calendar to include important upcoming dates. Be aware of the registration dates, school open house times, breaks / no school days and of course, the first day of school. Adding all family members’ activities to the family calendar (especially in specific colors) is a perfect way to keep everyone’s activities organized. This will also help you to organize transportation and child care for busy times. It is always good to plan ahead when it comes to finding a daycare service or babysitter for before/after school care.
Kick the Clutter & Get Organized
Organization is key when making transitions like heading back to school. Get rid of the clutter that has piled up in your house. Create designated areas for homework to be done, as well as where backpacks, books and supplies are to be stored. It’s also a great idea to get records and registration forms organized, making copies for sports registration or after school activities. Transportation with neighborhood carpools and bus schedules are also very important to organize early on.
Stay Active, Fit & Healthy
Eating healthy snacks and being active for at least 30 minutes each day is a great way to get physically prepared but don’t forget to also prepare mentally. Encourage less watching TV and playing video games and more reading, educational games and outdoor activities to increase concentration. It’s also a good time to instill quality hygiene routines like washing hands and bathing regularly. It helps to start early with this so everyone has a routine come school time. Other things to remember would be staying current on vaccinations and dental appointments, now is a great time to make sure all of the appointments are made and everything is up to date.
Don’t Take on Too Much
Being involved in extra activities is a great way to stay active and social; however make sure to focus on quality not quantity. Have your child pick one or two things to pursue during the school year that will help them develop skills in activities they are interested in. Don’t push them into everything; you don’t want to overwhelm them (or yourself) with a jam-packed schedule. Activities require a lot of time, dedication and money. You don’t need to add any additional stress to your life.
Perhaps the biggest piece of advice to share is to start early! It’s important to get yourself ready and into a routine at least 2 weeks prior to the start of school.
Have scheduled bedtimes and meal times to help the transition during the first few weeks of school to go smoother.
Shop early for supplies. Sales seem to start earlier every year and you’ll have the best chance of getting everything on the list when you start early. Some teachers do require things that are a little different then what is listed, so keep those receipts in case you need to exchange it later.
Read over the dress code before clothes shopping. This will help you to insure your children have the appropriate clothing as well as anything specific they need for physical education or another class.
These recommendations are all things that will help to ease the transition for everyone in the family and will have a positive effect on the child’s back to school transition. Just remember to start early and put an effective schedule into action and you’ll be off to a great start!