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In Part 1 of this series, I shared some family organizing strategies that are crucial to implement during the transition from Summer Vacation Mode to School Mode. Here in Part 2, I share some simple but important ways to prepare yourself and your kids for the changes that are a-comin’ in just a few short weeks:
5. Finish your school supply shopping now. I know that a lot of people like to procrastinate when it comes to this task, since engaging in this shopping excursion can quickly shatter your denial about summer vacation drawing to a close. However, it is no fun going from store to store the night before school starts, sifting through the slim pickins in search of that required 4″ by 10″ pencil box.
6. Undo the “Kids are Going to Bed Way too Late” Syndrome that seems to go hand-in-hand with the summer months. My kids are currently hitting the sack about 2 hours later than their customary “school night bedtime.” It is infinitely easier to gradually correct this bedtime gap by closing the gap incrementally over the next few weeks. Make bedtime 15 minutes earlier every other night, so that going to bed while the sun is still up won’t be such a shock to their system in a few weeks.
7. Designate a homework area. Older kids should have the option of studying in their room or a quiet area of the house. Younger kids usually do well in an area set aside in the family room or kitchen so that a parent can easily assist and monitor them.
8. Designate a “Landing Area” for backpacks and lunch boxes. Designate a spot for your kids to park their school belongings, as well as a place to put important notices and information sent home for you to see. Explain that emptying their backpack each evening is part of their responsibility.
9. Pick out clothes the night before. Getting the inevitable parent-child Outfit Battle out of the way the night before will pave the way for a less stressful morning routine (am I the only one who has these daily battles? Strangely, they are typically with my son and not my daughter!)
10. Prepare a few simple dinners in advance. It will be much easier on you if you have dinners prepared ahead so that meal preparation will not add to household stress during the first week of school. Let the freezer and the crock pot be your best friend this week, so that you can devote your full attention to dealing with “first week jitters”, bus scheduling delays, and the like.
Implementing these simple tips will pave the way for a stress-free return to the classroom for your little one, as well as a happy home environment for all of you!