Summer is a time to relax with schedules and allow our kids some freedom. My kids have been staying up later, eating more sugar, taking fewer naps, and running around with dirt on their face and toes at all times. It’s seriously the best, right? Until you realize that school is starting in a few weeks and suddenly you have to think about making lunches, scheduling tutors, and demand extra reading time. It’s easy to continue the fun and worry about the schedules later but face it or not, school is coming.
Taking some time to prepare for the school year will help your whole family transition more easily, and there are a few basic steps to get your family ready for back to school and get your child excited about it!
Back-To-School Survival Guide:
1. Back-To-School-Shopping Fun
Involving your child in shopping for back to school (e.g., letting them pick out their new shoes, picking their new backpack, or stocking up on their favorite colored pencils, etc.) is almost a guarantee that they will be excited to either wear or use their new gear!
2. Set up a Back-to-School Schedule
The first week of school can be the hardest with the business of it all and the extra early morning starts. By mid-week, the kids are fading fast in classrooms from exhaustion. One of the best ways to prepare your child is to start working back into school schedules a few weeks ahead of time. Giving your family at least two weeks to prepare, start by waking up 10 or 15 minutes earlier and going to bed 10 or 15 minutes earlier, adding small increments, until you reach the “ideal” timing for your school’s schedule. You can also implement a reading hour (or worksheet hour) where your child needs to complete a school-related task to help ease them into the grueling amounts of homework kids are asked to do these days.
3. Plan Play-Dates or After-School Activities
If family-time has taken over the summer days, schedule a few playdates or plan a BBQ with a few families where your child can get acquainted with his peers again. This will allow for less anxiety when seeing foreign faces those first few weeks of school.
4. Plan Your Own Field-Trip
Find out what your child will be learning in school and scope out your local city for locations you can take your children to learn more. For example, if learning about the ocean and animals is big for your little babe, look into the aquarium or zoo. On a much bigger scale for older kids, planning a family vacation to Pennsylvania or The White House could be huge excitement for the whole family and will urge kids to learn and ask questions leading up to the trip.
5. Sign-Up To Attend One of Your Child’s Field Trips or Volunteer
Hopefully, your child hasn’t gotten to the age where they are embarrassed by you. I have young kids so I still get the “running into my arms” at pick-up and dread the day they hide from me. I remember when I was a kid, the days that my mom would volunteer or attend a field-trip was the best day ever. I couldn’t wait for my Mom to join in on the fun and have my security blanket with me at all times. If this sounds like your child, volunteering or attending a field-trip gives you both something to look forward to and helps ease anxiety for the kids who have separation issues.
6. Involve your Child In Making a “Homework Station”
Much like back-to-school shopping, involve your child in preparing a “work area” that will make Him/Her excited to do their school work when they pass. Have them pick out a new desk, table lamp, clock, their favorite pens and pencils, or sketchbook. For older kids, allow them to be a part of the process when buying a new computer, Kindle, or Chome Book.
7. Set-Up a Test Run
If your child is attending a school for their first time, plan a test run. The first day of school jitters are heightened when your child doesn’t know where they are going. Walk with them around the new campus, classroom, or playground. Talk about the various locations where they will play, learn, or have recess.
And make sure to enjoy any and all time you have if your child is going to school for their first time – you earned it, Mama!