Are you and your kids ready for school to start back up? For us we are starting earlier than we have in years and I’m not really sure that I’m ready for summer to be over just yet. I know that my kids are looking forward to going back to school in a lot of ways but in many I know that they aren’t quite ready yet. We’ve been trying to get prepared, trying to get on a routine that is more like our school day schedule so that when it’s time it won’t be quite so painful. These Back to School Tips to Get Prepared have helped us and hopefully will help you and your family get ready for school to start too!
Back to School Tips to Get Prepared
Most schools have great websites now. Visit your school’s website and look through all the pages. Even if your children have gone to the same school forever, check start and end times for the day to be sure they haven’t changed. Look at the school calendar, the lunch menu, and for open house information. Look into uniform information if your school requires uniforms, if they don’t check into dress code just to be sure that the money you spend on back to school clothes isn’t a waste. The school’s website will offer you so much information over the school year. Bookmark it for use all year long!
Visit the School
Teachers and office staff are usually at the school during the last weeks of summer vacation. Most schools are open for parents and students to visit, drop off paperwork that is needed, and for other various reasons. If your family is new to the area or if you have children who are new to school stop in for a visit. Walk children through the halls and learn where classrooms and bathrooms are, where the gym and lunchroom is, where the library, offices, and other important parts of the building are. Kids who know their way around will feel more confident and comfortable. Even if your kids aren’t new to school, they will need to know where their classrooms are and their lockers are if they have them.
Get Enough Sleep
This goes for kids and parents. Summer often means we’re all staying up later and sleeping in. Getting back on a schedule that works for school days can be really tough. I like to get everyone back in the groove at least 2 weeks before school starts. As a general rule the older kids get the less sleep they need. Also the older they get the later they usually stay up due to commitments with homework, sports, and social life. Kids ages 3-6 need approximately 10-12 hours of sleep. Kids 7-12 should have 10-11 hours of sleep each night. Kids that are older, 12-18 years of age require 8-9 hours. Depending on when your child has to be up in the morning, adjust bedtime accordingly.
Whether it is creating a homework area or hanging hooks for backpacks, make sure you are organized. Have a place for pretty much everything so that your kiddos can’t say they don’t know where to put things or that they can’t find them when they need them. Staying organized and keeping things tidy helps me to keep my sanity (well at least some of it). Make sure your kids know where lunch bags go when they get home from school, where to put important papers that have been sent home, where to find spare school supplies and any other items they may need. Have a tote or a crate for each child in your entryway or mudroom that they can keep their hats, gloves, and other belongings in so that things are less likely to get mixed up if you have multiple siblings. This will make grabbing things easier when it’s time to get ready in the morning.
Set Rules and Expectations
We all work better when we know what the rules and expectations are. Make sure that kids know what is expected early on. Let them know when they should be getting up for school, if you expect them to do any chores before school, what is an acceptable breakfast, if they’ll be walking to school or riding the bus, or being driven and when they need to leave. Make sure children know where they are supposed to go after school and what they should be doing when school is out. Does homework come first, a snack, or can they play outside for a while first? Are they allowed to watch television before homework is done? Do you want them to change into play clothes as soon as they get home or can they stay in their school clothes. When should chores be done. Go over the rules and expectations and remind them gently as they get used to the new routine.
Prepare the Night Before
From lunches to clothes, preparing the night before makes the next day much smoother. Have kids bring their dirty clothes to the laundry room and get the clothes for the next day picked out and ready. If they are young and bathe at night, make sure they do so. Have children help clean out lunch bags and wash lunch containers as well as prepare and pack lunches and snacks for the following day. Make sure homework is complete and that anything that needs to be checked and signed has been taken care of. Help younger children repack backpacks and make sure older children have done the same.
I hope these back to school tips help you feel prepared for a great school year. Back to school doesn’t have to be stressful, if you’re well prepared!
You may also want to do some fun back to school crafts to help get the kids excited!