Summer always seems to fly by and before you know it, it will be time for kids to go back to school. This can be a bittersweet moment for parents. On one hand, children are getting back into a routine and learning new things and on the other hand, parents have to adjust to their children being gone all day long and we have to adjust back to school schedules again.
Parents want their children to have a successful school year, but sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. Back To School time isn’t just stressful for kids, it’s stressful for us parents too! Below you’ll find some way to help make the transition back to school a smooth one:
1. Start Preparing Early
The earlier you start, the less stressed you’ll be. Talk about expectations both at home and at school. Have conversations with your children about what you hope to see from them this year in terms of grades and behavior. This will help the children feel more comfortable and it will give them a sense of security.
2. Get Organized
Make a list of what your child needs for school and start shopping for supplies. This will help reduce stress levels as the deadline approaches. Help your children get organized before the school year starts by setting up a homework station and creating a calendar or planner for them to use.
3. Set a Good Example
One of the best ways for parents to help their children prepare for back to school is by setting a good example themselves. Show your children that you take your education seriously and that you’re excited for them to return to school. Help your children see you learning and growing and working towards goals. This gives them motivation to see they can do it too.
4. Use A Calendar
Making the back to school transition as smooth as possible for both parents and children often includes utilizing a calendar. For parents, a calendar can help with organization by mapping out when school supplies are needed, doctor’s appointments, and other important dates. Additionally, for children a calendar can help with visual representation of the school year, breaking down each month into specific subjects and activities. This can help alleviate some of the anxiety that comes with starting a new school year.
5. Create a Plan for Lunches
When the school year starts, it can be hard to get into a routine of packing lunches every day. Here are some tips to help make packing lunches easier:
- Plan ahead. The night before, decide what you will pack for lunch the next day. This will save time in the morning.
- Use leftovers. If you have leftovers from dinner, pack them for lunch instead of cooking something new.
- Make a list of easy-to-pack foods. Some easy-to-pack foods include sandwiches, fruits and vegetables, single serving yogurt, granola bars, and nuts.
6. Talk About How Homework Time Will Go
The school year is starting and that means homework will be assigned. Here are some tips for parents on how to help their child succeed with homework:
- Establish a routine for when homework is done. This could be as soon as they get home from school, right after dinner, right before bed, or some other time that works for your family. This may take a little trial and error, but you will eventually find what works best for you and your child.
- Make sure your child has a workspace that is distraction-free. This could be a desk in their room or somewhere else in the house where they can work without interruption.
- Have any supplies your child might need ready and within reach on their workspace, such as pencils, paper, textbooks, etc.
- Know who their teachers are. If there are any questions about the homework assignment, help your child to get in touch with the teacher as soon as possible. Email addresses are usually available before school starts and my kids have an app where they can get in touch with their teachers.
- Encourage your child but don’t do the homework for them. Sometimes that may feel easier, but in the long run, you’re just hurting them.
7. Get Back to School Shopping Done Early
Set a budget and stick to it. Don’t go overboard on spending just because it’s the back to school season. Here are a few back to school shopping tips:
- Start early. The earlier you start, the more time you’ll have to find good deals.
- Set a budget and stick to it. It’s easy to overspend when you’re shopping for school supplies, so be careful not to go overboard.
- Shop around. Don’t just buy everything at the first store you visit. Compare prices online and at different stores before making a purchase.
- Bring your child with you when shopping for school supplies and school snacks. While sometimes that means you are buying the more expensive pens and folders, bringing them along helps get your child excited about going back to school and using their new fun supplies.
8. Set A Bedtime Routine
Stick to it as much as possible. This will help your child get back into the swing of things and make it easier to wake up early in the morning. Switch up those fun summer late nights for early mornings about 2 weeks before school starts.
9. Make Time for Yourself
Even though it’s a busy time, make sure you take some time for yourself so you don’t get overwhelmed. In the midst of caring for everyone, do not forget about self-care. Need help? ASK! It’s human nature to want to help people, but yet, we are always so reluctant to ask for it. People like to help friends and family! So, when you need it…ask for help. Even if it’s just so you can make a little time for yourself. Again, self-care is very important.
If you need help with any of this or are struggle with your parenting skills, etc. Please don’t hesitate to reach out. Our clinician, Stephanie, or Brittany would be great resources for all your back to school needs!
The Made Well Team