Need a sane school year transition? Top 7 sanity-saving tips for parents.
Transitioning from summer to the school year– what an exciting time! (*rummages for corkscrew*)
Kids have a hard time with transition– and we parents do, too. With school starting in a couple weeks, you can minimize the stress caused by a change in routine sooner rather than later. Start getting things organized, transitioning into routines and planning lunch dates with your adult friends. Fall is a busy time, amiright?
What, exactly, can you do to get ready? Here are some tips you may find helpful:
#1 Adjust Bedtimes
Summer bedtimes are not typically consistent or reasonable for school hours and kids don’t take kindly to the abrupt change. One week before school starts, adjust bedtimes by 10 minutes per day until you get back to the normal bedtime.
#2 Get Homework Stations Ready
Wherever the kids do homework, make sure it’s equipped with the necessary homework supplies like sharpened pencils, pencil sharpener, extra paper, erasers, etc. My son can talk his way out of homework due to lack of properly sharpened pencils. Not this year, kid.
#3 Create your “Parent Trap”
If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s when things don’t have a “home”. Create a location for yourself where you can keep important school announcements, paperwork, class picture forms and sports applications. It all stays in one place and limits the opportunity to forget to send your child to school with their field trip permission slip and then they call you from school crying and you need to leave work and drive down to the school after you just left there and sign an new one. A friend told me that story. I would never do that.
#4 Wardrobe Inventory
If your child is old enough and chooses to dress themselves, avoid the morning fights by making sure the closets and drawers are filled with appropriate choices. For instance, remove any items that are too small, too big, too stained, too ugly, too short, too skimpy and anything else that you might find just too humiliating if someone new that was *your* kid wearing *that*.
#5 Military-Style School Shopping
When I was about 13, my mom always told me to make a list of what I had and what I needed to buy to go with it. Pfffft, give me a break, I thought. Until school started and I had 15 t-shirts, one sweater and a pair of corduroys. So, ya, once again, mother knows best. Make a clothing inventory of exactly what each child can salvage from summer and what they’ll need to go with it (including color, style and don’t forget to check sizes, kids grow fast!).
#6 Review the Routine
After a couple months of lazy summer days and nights, kids aren’t going to be too hip to abruptly following a daily routine once school starts. Have a sit-down talk with the kids and remind them of the weekly schedule including, wake times, showers, teeth brushing, dressing, breakfast, find your shoes, find your shoes, where are your shoes, homework and bedtime schedule. Basically, set their expectations ahead of time.
#7 Brown Baggin’ It
Just because your kid couldn’t live without peanut butter sandwiches two months ago doesn’t mean he’ll freak out if he sees it in his lunch box this year. Before you run out and spend a ton of money on groceries and lunch fixings, find out what the kids would prefer. Don’t forget to check out the school lunch menus for the upcoming month, there may be a few days your child would prefer to buy lunch. Or just fill up the credit on your kids’ lunch passes and tell them to deal. Again, a friend told me that. I would never do that myself.
See you at the bus stop!