The School Bell Rings Again!
We all know time flies when we’re having fun, and this summer has been no exception. In just a few weeks, students will fill school hallways with eager anticipation of what’s ahead – catching up with friends, meeting new teachers, and commencing a busy lineup of new activities. And, even though the school year tends to be busy, parents often look forward, too, to getting back into a regular school routine after a laidback summer schedule.
To kick the school year off right, you want to prepare well in advance. Not only do you have to start coordinating family schedules and reorganize your homework friendly space, but you’ll have a lot of shopping to do, too, for clothes, shoes, and supplies. So, grab your calendar and starting mapping out a back-to-school plan, and you’ll be ready to learn when that first bell rings! Here’s a plan to help you out:
1 Month before school
- Make sure you’ve scheduled or completed school physicals and eye exams.
- Double check that your immunization records are up-to-date.
- Clean out closets and take inventory of the clothing and shoes that your students can still wear. Make a list of items you “must-have” before school starts.
- Talk with your students about extracurricular activities and sports teams that they plan to try this year.
3 Weeks before school
- Plan for transportation to and from school. Pay bus fees, reorganize last year’s carpool group, double check with your caregiver, or coordinate rides between parents and/or grandparents.
- Check the school website and newsletter for schedules, forms, sign-up days/times, meet-and-greets with teachers, school open houses, and supply lists.
- Go shopping for back-to-school supplies, paying special attention to sales that might save you a little money.
2 Weeks Before School
- Contact the school nurse if you have health concerns or if your child requires medication during the school day.
- Label all belongings with your child’s name, including backpacks, sports equipment, instruments, and other gear.
- Finalize school lunch plans. If your children will bring their lunch, find a quality lunch box/bag and start stocking up in lunch items.
1 Week Before School
- Get into the school routine. Have your kids wake up, eat breakfast, and go to bed at the times appropriate for the school year.
- Review the school day with your child. Go over schedules, walk the route to school or the bus stop, and talk about after-school care and expectations.
- Work with your kids to establish after school rules about homework, screen time (TV, computers, iPods), snacks, chores, and other responsibilities.
- Organize a homework-friendly space and stock it with supplies – pens, pencils, markers, notebooks, ruler, calculator, scissors, etc.
- Plan for an influx of paper. Set up folders or a special filing system for important school notes, permission slips, and special artwork or exceptional homework that you’d like save.
- Add all new school events to the family calendar.
The Night Before
- Pack everything the night before – backpacks, lunch bags, sports/PE bags, etc.
- Have your students pick out first day of school outfits, including shoes.
- Review the day’s schedule with your children.
- Set alarm clocks a few minutes earlier than normal, just in case there are last minute hiccups in your morning routine.
- Plan a special, healthy breakfast for the next morning.
- Be positive and excited about the first day of school.
Getting ready to head back to school can be hectic if you wait until the last minute, but by following this schedule, you’ll be ready to greet the first day of school feeling prepared and confident. Take advantage of this planning time to help your kids learn valuable organizing skills that they will need to succeed in school, and in life!