School signals the end of summer and the reemergence of routines. Starting early will help make a smooth transition for everyone involved!
Get Back in the Routine
Staying up late is fine during the lazy days of summer, but school necessitates a firm bedtime. Ease into the change a few weeks before the big day by adjusting bedtimes by 15 minutes every few days. For example, if bedtime is normally 9:00 p.m. and your child is used to staying up until 10:30 p.m., send him or her to bed at 10:15 p.m. for a few nights, then 10:00 p.m., and so on until he or she reaches the 9:00 p.m. lights out.
It’s also important to wake up at a consistent time. Again, start a few weeks before the first day of school. Set the alarm and make sure the kids are up, dressed, and eating breakfast by a certain time. Adjust the time as necessary to reflect what the morning schedule will look like. Any routine that was neglected during summer, like making the bed or reading before bedtime, should be started again.
Look at the Calendar
Start now and organize the calendar. Mark important days like enrollment, open house, PTA meetings, and other upcoming events. Go to the school website to get a calendar for the upcoming year and write down all dates that pertain to your child so that you don’t have to juggle and reschedule later on.
Similarly, make appointments for physicals, dental appointments, vaccinations, eye checkups, and haircuts now. They’ll be off your to do list and your child won’t have to miss school to go to appointments.
Scavenge through last year’s supplies to see what will still work this year. Many students bring home gently used supplies, like scissors or rulers that can be reused. Take advantage of the great prices and stock up now on back-to-school supplies so that you won’t have to pay full price when your daughter needs a new notebook in February. Unless you find a great bargain on clothes, go easy on the back to school wardrobe. The weather will change soon, so two or three new outfits should suffice. Remember that they’re still growing, too!
If your child is attending a new school or is riding a new bus route, have a dress rehearsal. Walk or drive the new route and point out all landmarks to help get his or her bearings. Without going overboard, talk through scenarios to make sure he or she remembers safety tips.
It’s also a good idea to brush up on some skills that may have become rusty over the summer months. Reading a few books, practicing writing, and running through some math problems can help refresh your child’s memory ahead of time.
It’s still summer after all! Schedule some play dates or host a back to school party for your child’s friends so they can get reacquainted before school starts again. Squeeze in a few more activities that didn’t get marked off the summer wish list before school makes it more difficult. Above all, make the last few days of summer count!