As the summer winds down, it's time to start thinking about the start of the school year (insert children's whine here). Get your kids off to the best start with these back to school tips!
If your kids have been enjoying summertime sleep-ins, but the school-year wake-up time is much earlier, it might be wise to ease their way into an earlier rise and "shine". Take a week to wake them up earlier each morning.
If school mornings make your blood pressure rise and bring out your beast within, try making a fun poster-sized schedule for your child so they know exactly what they need to do and when. Not only will it take some pressure off of you, but it will help your child feel more independent. Your schedule might be something like:
7:00am - WAKE UP
7:20am - PUT DOWN THE IPAD AND EAT YOUR BREAKFAST
7:35am - FINISH EATING YOUR BREAKFAST, ALREADY
8:00am - GET DRESSED (with the clothes you laid out the night before)
8:10am - TELL YOUR MOMMA HOW BEAUTIFUL SHE IS
8:15am - GET YOUR SHOES ON AND GATHER YOUR THINGS
You get the gist...
Check your school district website for your new teacher's supply list and make a fun shopping day with your child. If it's too painful to shop with them, make your spouse do it and go get a massage instead! Regardless, your child gets to have fun picking out pencils, notebooks, etc. While out shopping, pick out a fun first-day-back outfit to help your child get excited for the big day.
Sit down with your child and ask them what they'd like to accomplish in the coming year. Make a list of 10 things they'd like to be able to cross off their list. Examples might include reading 20 books, getting an A on their first test, making 10 new friends, etc.
Sometimes life gets in the way of us taking the time to really talk with our kids about their concerns. Take a moment to ask your child if they are feeling anxious about anything in the coming year. Are they worried they won't like their new teacher, or won't make new friends? This will give you a great opportunity to address those concerns you may not have even known your child had.
Check your school's website to see if the first month's lunch menu is available so you can decide if you'll be packing lunch or sending money. If you have trouble planning lunches, make it fun by creating a menu for your child. Give them several options for Main Dish, Fruit or Veggie, Snack and Drink. The night before, they can make their selections so you don't have to think about it.
If your child is dreading the start of school, schedule a playdate for them the first weekend after school starts so they have something to look forward to, especially if their buddy isn't going to be in their class.
It's important for your child to have an ideal spot for doing their homework each day, preferably somewhere far from distractions like TV or a play room. A special study place can make homework more fun and can motivate your child to get it done. Keep the work area clean and clear of clutter, with only essential items like a lamp, pencil, crayons, scissors and glue stick. Try to stick to a homework routine - either first thing when they get home from school, right after a snack, or right after dinner. Be consistent.
A great school year starts now!