very 3 months because they grow like weeds), spend a small fortune on school and classroom supplies, and worry about class birthday parties because of food restrictions (I don’t know about you but I don’t have the money nor the time to find and purchase ingredients infused with the tears of virgin unicorns), just to name a few.
Let’s not just think of ourselves here, it’s rough on our kids as well. Anxiety from meeting new kids and a new teacher, losing summer freedom and having to adapt back to a structured schedule.
In hopes to make this process a little less stressful for kids and parents, here are some things you can do to prepare everyone for their first day back to school.
Schedules. Try getting in your school schedule a week or two ahead of time. Set an earlier bedtime and wake-up time and stick to it. It will help ease them into a new schedule rather than going from waking up at 8 a.m. one morning to 6 a.m. the next (by the way, if your kids sleep past 6:30, I’m jealous of you, you lucky S.O.Bs!)
Visual Aides. Create a calendar that shows everyone’s activities (scholarly and extracurricular) Just an organizational tip. Helps to alleviate some stress from trying to remember everything in your jam-packed schedule. Also, you could create something which illustrates how long it should take them to complete assignments. I found something on Pinterest the other day and I LOVE it. I will be doing this:
Meet and Greet. Go to orientation with your child if at all possible. Meeting the new teacher beforehand may ease some jitters for both of you.
Connect. Talk to your kids about what to expect their first day. Ask them about their concerns. Talking to your kids will ease some anxiety they may have.
Make a List. If your child’s school hasn’t handed out a list of needed supplies, make one. Two of my Three sons go to school, kindergarten and 1st grade, so my list may be somewhat different but these are the main items:
…Notebooks and folders And some #2 pencils …Wood Rulers and markers And lots of clear stencils …a backpack and lunchbox that won’t last til spring…These are a few of essential school things
Wide Ruled Notebook
Shop for Supplies. Get that list and head to the store. I did my kid’s school supply shopping at Target and I went the beginning of August to beat the rush. All in all, I think I did well. Shopping for 2 kids and buying 2 of everything, I only spent $70 (that includes new backpacks and lunchboxes!)
Pack Ahead of Time. Organize all supplies and pre-pack their backpacks. I did this as soon as I came home with their supplies or I would never have. The school my kids attend require everything to be labeled so it’s a little-added work but their backpacks have been packed since August 5th. One less thing to worry about!
Create a Space. Designate a specific are for all their supplies and a place to do homework. I don’t have anything crazy for my boys and they do their homework at the kitchen table. Right now, they only have a personalized chalkboard rack that holds their backpacks. I think I might purchase 2 Mail Sorters to hold homework and permission slips etc. Again, being organized makes things a little easier and a little less hectic.
Time for some Intellect. Read books more often with them to get them back into the swing of things. I’m not going to lie, I slacked on the whole summer reading thing with my kids but this past month I have had them read me a book 2x a week. Just helps them to get back into the swing of things.
Vaccination Record. Update medical records. Just make sure your school has an up to date immunization sheet for your kids. Some schools won’t let kids attend without one.
Bullying. Talk to them about bullying. I think it’s some crazy number like 30% of kids who are bullied. Make sure your kids know how to handle it. Things have changed from when I was little. I was taught ‘sticks and stones may break my bones…’ and things like don’t hit unless you’re hit first. The ethics, values, morals that I grew up with now are frowned upon. Unfortunately, I don’t give a flying rat’s ass. I teach my kids to be respectful, not to be little jerks, to know others have feelings too but if some kid is going to come up to mine and hit him, he, by all means, has the right to open a can of whoop-ass. You may not agree with the lessons I am instilling in my children but make sure your kids know how to handle bullies or that they themselves shouldn’t bully.
Night Before. Organize clothes, papers, backpack, lunches, shoes, anything and everything the night before to ensure a smooth morning (hopefully!)
Good luck parents (and kids) on the upcoming 2016-2017 School Year