Contributed by Lisa Pratto, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru
Labor Day has passed, the lazy days of summer are over and we have moved through the crazy days of back to school prep.
There are so many back to school activities that need to be accomplished as you and your children settle into another new school year. Most parents are excited to check them off their lists. Most kids are not. But it is important to make sure that you do everything you can to ensure your child’s readiness for school.
Here are my top ten tips to make sure the kids are ready for the classroom:
10. Keep school supplies on hand
The almighty back to school supplies. Every teacher has a list of school supplies for her students and, possibly, even a “wish list” for the classroom, like science kits or a new microscope. It is amazing how much stuff they need just to learn and the first load of school supplies will dwindle quickly. Keep supplies on hand all year long: writing paper, printer paper, pens, pencils, poster board.
9. School clothes
Whether you think this is fun or not is arbitrary but it is a necessity. Back to school clothes. As students start the year with new jeans and tees, they will adjust their desired school clothes and uniforms when they see what the other kids are really wearing. Be ready to adjust. And buy more.
Over time, there became a difference between “shoes” and “school shoes”. Of course, there is also the elusive “gym shoes.” In fact, the whole shoe arena can get a little confusing when it comes to school year activities. Without the right shoes, though, your kids won’t be ready for all the fitness, sports and after school options they have.
For new students or those transferring in, a good idea for school readiness is getting to know the school and all of the opportunities. Many clubs and sports happen after the start of the school year. Even if they roll their eyes and claim they are not interested, they will be secretly checking things out and making mental notes of where their friends are headed.
6. Get the lay of the land
The first year of changing classrooms is stressful on a kid. After years of having the teachers come to them, now the tables are turned. Grab their schedule and take them up when no one is around for a “dry run”. It helps to practice finding all the class rooms without the rush of other students in the hallways.
5. Attend open house
If you are lucky, you might even be able to schedule a meet and greet during open house, which generally happens during the first month of school. It’s not essential to attend, but it can calm some back to school nerves and help get your child – and you – ready for the upcoming year.
4. Goodbye summer party
Plan one last, blow out pool party before the end of warm weekend days. Every kid likes to savor the last bits of summer and the freedom it brings.
3. Lunch options
Another great readiness for school tip is trying out new lunches to pack. Plan on trying at least one a day, for a week and then having a family vote. You could even test out some reusable sandwich bags and other eco-friendly lunch toting options. You can also try a combination of cafeteria lunches and packed lunches, if your school allows.
This is critical to the success of the school year. Every family member needs to get used to the new routine and keeping a firm handle on schedules and bedtimes is critical. As your kids settle into the year, it’s often easy for bedtime to get pushed later and later – and lost sleep makes the school morning more difficult.
The last back school readiness tip is to plan transportation for the week. You may need to establish a routine that combines school bus, walking, car pools and the mom-bus. Don’t forget to celebrate a good school week and all your kids’ accomplishments by celebrating Fridays. Grab a boom box, some crazy hats, a carton of donut holes and some juice. Walk to the bus stop, or wait in the kitchen, and have an impromptu party that will make memories.