It may be hard to believe, but the first day of school for most kids is only a few weeks away. Stores are putting out their big school supply displays and our teacher friends are posting on social media about preparing their classrooms.
While our kids want to spend the next few weeks squeezing out every drop of fun and freedom that summer has to offer, it’s also good to start thinking about how to prepare for back-to-school. Here are some tips that you can use as the first day of school gets closer to make that transition easy on your kids — and you.
Start Talking About School
You can keep it casual, but it’s good to start mentioning school to your kids a few weeks out to get them prepared. For younger children, it’s a good idea to start discussing the changes your child may experience this year. For example, maybe they’ll start to have homework for the first time, or maybe they’ll be walking to school. For older kids, ask them about the things they want to do before summer ends and ask about the types of classes they’re looking forward to this school year.
Take Your Kid To School
Most schools have orientation days before the school year begins so that parents and kids can get school supply lists and other paperwork, and middle and high school kids can get their class schedules. Sometimes teachers may be on-hand to meet with parents and students too. Make sure to take your child with you, especially if they’ve never been to this school before. It will help get your kids thinking about school and becoming comfortable with the building.
Plan A Shopping Day
Make a big day out of back-to-school shopping with your kid, no matter how old they are. Get all of their school supplies, some new school clothes and other accessories they may need in a single day. Making it a sort of event will help your kid start to prepare mentally for school, and they’ll be excited about picking out a cool new pair of jeans, folders and a backpack. If you have multiple kids, you can do this all in one day to keep it simpler, or you can take each kid on their own day.
Organize Those Supplies
Once the school shopping is done, have your kid open everything and get their supplies organized. Let them do this themselves (you can supervise if you want) so that they arrange everything in a way that they like and will be familiar with on the first day of school.
Finish Up Summer Assignments
If your child had schoolwork to do over the summer, check in with them to see if they’ve done it. If they haven’t, make sure to schedule a time for them to complete it. Use the end of summer as a motivation. The sooner they complete it, the sooner they can focus on enjoying their final days of summer.
Take Your Kids For Their Annual Checkups
Schedule your kids’ physicals, eye exams, and dental cleanings before the school year begins so that your child is fully prepared to walk into class healthy. Make sure they get any vaccinations they may be due for, order new glasses or contacts so that they can see clearly and ensure their teeth are healthy. This is also a good time to talk to the doctor about ways for your child to stay healthy throughout the year, especially if they play sports.
Start A Routine
About a week before the first day of school, start getting back into a routine with scheduled bedtimes and alarms in the morning. This will make sure your child feels well rested enough to get back to learning.
Sleep isn’t the only routine to get back to, though. Think about what other routines your family has during the school year. Plan activities outside of the home during the school day so your child gets used to leaving and coming home, and then make sure your child’s afternoon routine for school is similar. Do you have stricter rules about video games, watching TV or other activities during the school year? Start enforcing those about a week before school begins. Your routines don’t have to be exact before the school year starts, but at least getting into a similar rhythm can help.
Enjoy The End of Summer Together… After School Begins
Back-to-school doesn’t have to mean the end of fun. Plan a fun, summery activity to enjoy the beautiful weather with the family once school is back in session. A trip to Cedar Point or even the zoo is also a great idea. Whatever you decide to do, have fun together!