Back-to-school is a fun, exciting, nerve-wracking time for kids, parents, and teachers too! I always loved back-to-school, both as a teacher and a student.
The key to making the transition from summer to school a success is being prepared.
With a little prep and incorporating a few routines into your schedule, you and your kids will be ready to ‘hit the books’ this fall!
Back to Routine
Start the morning routine at least a week in advance. Lay out clothes, make lunches, even ‘pack’ a backpack. Having your kids (and you!) go through the motions well in advance will make the transition to a regimented morning easier. A before school and after school checklist in your child’s room, on your chalkboard, or in your mudroom is a great visual reminder for you and your family.
Those slow moving summer mornings with a semi-warm cup of coffee over, unfortunately. Your kids will need to adjust back into “school mode,” but so do you, Mom. Agenda signing, permission slips, and daily clean out of backpack and/or folder is imperative to start the year off right! Go through the motions with your kids and the transition will be easier for you too. Plus your kids will enjoy having mom a part of their back-to-school process.
Popsicles on the porch, catching lightning bugs, and playing outside until dusk are the epitome of a summer evening for me. However, back-to-school means back to a normal, early bedtime. Start this routine at least a week before school resumes. I had plenty of my sweet second graders through the years falling asleep midafternoon because their bodies weren’t adjusted. Feeling sleepy the first week of school? Totally understandable. Still not being about to make it past lunch a month in? Time to get to bed earlier!
Have Supplies Ready to Go
One of the first things a teacher and her students do on the first day is put away and organize supplies. Whether your school has a ‘meet the teacher night’ where supplies is dropped off prior to school beginning, or everyone brings items day one, please have everything! I hated seeing students not prepared the first day. They felt left out and were playing catch-up to get everything organized in the next weeks.
If your teacher has requested certain items, like colored folders or a certain calculator, please purchase these specific supplies. There is a reason for this! For example, in my classroom, each subject was a certain colored folder and it helped keep students organized. It also may seem ridiculous to go and buy twelve glue sticks or five packs of pencils, but these items are intended to last the entire year. Having all supplies ready to go will boost your child’s confidence the first day and help them get back into “school mode!”
Is there anything your child’s school needs to know that occurred or changed over the summer? Have you updated their health records, including new or changes in medications? Are there new “classroom accessories” (glasses, hearing aids, now wearing a retainer, etc) that may affect their learning? Also, let the school and teacher know of any family or life changes. Is Dad traveling more and your child isn’t adjusting well? Is a loved one ill? Remember that these things are kept confidential! Any information you can provide about your child will help their teacher get to know and understand their needs.
Starting off the school year prepared and organized ensures your child is stepping in the right direction for a great year! Happy back-to-school!