Back to school can be a hectic time for parents and children. Here are some tips and ideas to make your transition from summer to school and easier one:
Have a Fashion Show
Before you go shopping for new clothes, have each child try on their school clothes from last year. As you find items that no longer fit, set them aside to bring to a consignment shop or donate them to charity. If you do need to purchase new items, pay attention to the back-to-school sales and use coupons to help you save money.
Fill Out Any Necessary Medical Forms
If you need to have forms signed by your child’s pediatrician, make doctor’s appointments as soon as possible. Also, if your child has a food allergy, contact your child’s teacher before the school year begins to discuss any necessary precautions.
Confirm Childcare Arrangements
If your child requires after school care, make the arrangements now. Be sure they know what day school starts, and understands when you’ll need him or her to be available. In addition, take the time to confirm his or her pay rate and your planned payment schedule.
Consider Purchasing Alarm Clocks for the Kids
If your kids are extremely reluctant to get up in the morning, consider using an alarm clock with gradually increasing sound, or use a timer to make their bedside lamp turn on just before you want them to wake up.
Start by purchasing a sturdy lunch box or bag for each child. Begin to plan what you'll include in your kid's lunches, and stock up on extra lunchbox staples, like fruit cups and granola bars, when you see them on sale.
Organize Your Closets
This can help to get everyone out the door a little faster in the morning. Make sure you’re caught up on laundry and ironing, and consider hanging closet organizers that are labeled with the days of the week for younger children. This lets them “dress themselves” in the morning without the hassle. Also, consider purchasing a wrinkle-release spray for the kids’ clothes, which may not really need to be ironed on a regular basis.
Update Your Calendar
Your calendar is a great tool for staying organized and managing the kids’ busy schedules. Take the time to add school-related items to your calendar, like half-days and holidays. Also, fill in your kids’ regular activities, like soccer practice, ballet, or karate. Get into the habit of looking at your calendar each evening to be sure you know what is coming up the next day.
Create a System for Organizing and Storing Papers
On the first day of school, your kids will probably come home with 5-10 papers for you to sign. You’ll want to have a space in your home where your kids can regularly leave the paperwork that requires your signature. You’ll also want to have one spot where you can keep information on hand that you’ll need frequently, like the school lunch menu and calendar.
Gradually Move the Kids' Bedtimes Up
You'll want to be sure your kids are getting plenty of sleep when school starts. If your kids have been staying up extra late this summer, you want to gradually move their bedtimes up by about fifteen minutes a night. This will make bedtimes easier on you when school begins, and it will help relieve the back-to-school jitters and insomnia.
Purchase School Supplies
Print up our handy Back to School checklist to take with you on your shopping trips so you don’t forget a thing. Check for coupons in local papers and watch for the sales. Try to go once two week before school starts and then again after school starts, as teachers usually have specific supply lists for their classes.
K - 12 School Supply Shopping list:
□ Pencils/Extra lead/Sharpener
□ Correction fluid or tape
□ Crayons/Markers/Colored Pencils
□ Stapler and Staples
□ Hole Puncher
□ Paper clips
□ Rubber Bands
□ Index Cards
□ Post-it Notes
□ White Paper
□ Sheet Protectors
□ Lined Paper
□ Paper folders
□ Pocket Folders
□ Pencil case
□ Book stand (prevents neck pain)
□ Blank CDs
□ External hard drive or jump drive
Optional, but Helpful
□ Book Covers
□ Bulletin Board and Push pins
□ Drawer organizer
□ Lined pads of paper
□ Report covers
□ Poster Board
□ Desk calendar
□ Doodle Notebook
□ Graph paper