Contributed by Info Guru Terri Wallace
Back to School does not have to mean a return to chaos.
With some careful planning, this school year can finally be the year you actually feel like you are getting the hang of the whole parent thing.
10. Skills for School
School means newly sharpened pencils, crisp white paper, and piles of compositions books. But early attention to the skills that are needed for success starts a long time before that first day of school. Stock up on learning toys to start the culture of exploration and discovery early.
9. Study Spot
Students need a quiet spot to study. Find a location away from the chaos of kitchen and the distractions of the television and convert it to a study spot. Make sure the space has a student desk, table, or other work area and stock it with school supplies and, if possible, a computer to help with homework assignments.
8. Uniforms/School Clothes
Whether you child’s school allows casual clothes or requires uniforms, chances are the clothes your child wore last year no longer fit. Have your child help you go through their closet and bureau and sort out what still fits and what needs to be replaced. Make sure to check undergarments and shoes as well! Then plan a trip to replace everything that is too small or too worn to be of use.
7. Declutter and Donate
After sorting through your child’s clothing from the previous year, you should plan on putting any “gently worn” items to good use by donating them to a local charity. Likewise, any clothing your child “wouldn’t be caught dead in” this year will certainly be greatly appreciated by the recipients of your generosity. This is Renew, Reuse, Recycle at its finest; you get organized and get a warm-fuzzy feeling for doing something good! The second step is to organize your clothing by season, by size and store in easy to reach bins.
Whether your child prefers backpacks, messenger bags, rucksacks, or duffle bags, he will need something to lug around all those books. Make sure any bag you choose is roomy enough to accommodate the books and supplies your child will need. You might also consider a backpack on wheels to avoid straining your child’s back while he works on exercising his mind.
5. Feed the Brain
Your child will need to feed his brain during the school day, so you should plan on stocking up on healthy food for your child’s lunches and snacks, and having some fun-colored lunchboxes lined up in the morning. If your child has food allergies or sensitivities, this is especially important. And don’t forget to stock up on healthy breakfast options for your child; breakfast is the most important meal of the day!
4. Stock Up
Back to School Time is also time to head to your local wholesale club and load the cart with those items that you never seem to have enough of, like: Kleenex, paper towels, and disinfectant wipes. You can also stock up on some of those snack and breakfast items that are so important!
3. Check Up
Before school starts you should make a few calls and schedule your child’s annual exam with his physician. Don’t forget to also make appointments for dental cleanings and eye exams, as well. This is also a good time to schedule these same exams for yourself to make sure that you are in tip-top shape to shepherd your child through another school year.
2. Back on Schedule
Plan on getting back into the “school schedule” about three weeks before school starts. Set your alarm to wake you up fifteen minutes earlier, and start enforcing an earlier bedtime. It can take several weeks to make the shift from your summer routine to a school routine, so it is wise to start early to help with the transition.
1. Family Calendar
It can be difficult to keep track of each family member’s schedule once school and all of its extracurricular activities are in full swing. An online family calendar system with text alerts to remind you of appointments or other important events, such as Cozi, is a practical solution for busy families, and it can help keep everyone on track as the Back to School chaos ensues!