It’s the time of the year when children hear those most dreaded words, back to school time. For some parents back to school time is the best time of the year, especially after a long summer listening to their children whine “I’m bored. There is nothing to do“.
Getting your child ready to go back to school can be a fun and exciting experience. It can also be a very stressful experience for both parents and children. Here are a few tips to help make the back to school transition easy and stress-free.
- Get your child back into the habit of going to bed at their normal school time. It’s easy to let your child stay up well past their bedtime during the summer months, especially if you have an older child. Start by setting a specific bed time each week, counting down to the start of school. Each week have your child go to bed an hour or half hour earlier then they were going to bed until they reach their normal school bedtime. When school starts your child should be back on their normal sleeping schedule.
- Take stock of your child’s wardrobe before heading out to buy new clothes for school. Have your child try on all their clothes and donate items that no longer fit. Children do not necessarily need an entire new wardrobe at the start of the new school year. Instead purchase a new outfit or two and fill in the gaps left by clothes that no longer fit.
- Take advantage of back to school sales. Many stores offer buy one get one free or school supplies for as low as .25 cents. Stock up on the essentials that your child will need over the next few years such as paper, pencils and pens. You can also donate supplies to a local charity that helps provide school supplies for disadvantaged students or to your child’s teacher or classroom.
- Sit down with your child and discuss school lunches. Try out different lunch menus and recipes before school starts. Make sure you send your child to school with a well rounded lunch including fruits, vegetables and protein. Consider purchasing re-usable containers and bottles to make your child’s school lunch eco-friendly.
- Discuss any fears or concerns your child might have about the new school year. Go to your child’s school a day or two before school starts so your child can visit their classroom or practice going through their schedule. Most schools are open a few days before school starts and will allow children to walk around to get a feel for things. This can help reduce the anxieties your child might have, especially if they are changing classrooms for the first time.
Getting ready to go back to school should be a fun and exciting time for families. Instead of focusing on the “big picture”, concentrate on one thing at a time. Make a check list to make sure you don’t forget anything. Even if you do forget something, covering the things listed above will help ensure your child will have a fun and memorable first day back to school.