Whether your child is about to begin his or her first year of preschool, or entering is high school–the transition from summer time to school time is bound to be a bumpy one. No matter your child’s age, a little preparation will go a long way. Time to go back to school!
1. Return to the Routine
I’ve been sleeping in and lounging well into the day this summer. It’s been fabulous, but there is no way I’ll be able to get up and moving with the birds without a little practice. Start getting everyone up at the same time and getting ready in the morning. Eat breakfast at the same time as you would during the school year, and then leave the house for a few early morning errands or a trip to the park. Try to have lunch and dinner on your school-day schedule and observe school-year bedtimes as well. Think of it as a dress rehearsal. You’ll be glad to work out the kinks before the first day.
2. Get Organized
Now is a great time to go through your child’s dresser and take inventory. Get rid of clothes that they have outgrown or worn out and purchase replacements. Put together your child’s backpack and school supplies and designate a place for them to eliminate the morning, “Mom? Where’s my…?” You may also want to create a checklist of items your child needs to take with him or her each day, or things he or she needs to complete before leaving for school, and post it. Having everything you need where you need it will help you both feel more prepared for back-to-school.
Whether your child is returning to the same school or is starting at a new one, take the time to attend the school’s orientation or information night. It will give you and your child a chance to meet the teacher, see the new classroom, maybe even check out his or her assigned seat. Other important folks to meet include the office staff, principal, and guidance counselors. If your child is nervous about the first day, take the opportunity to walk through what they should expect: Where will they go when they arrive? Where will they hang their things? Where is the closest bathroom? What time is lunch? Recess? Knowing what to expect and who will be there to help is important.
4. Make a Game Plan
Now is the time to plan how your child will get to and from school. If he or she will be taking the bus, make sure everyone knows who will be getting them on in the morning and who will be there to meet them in the afternoon. Then consider your back-up plans. What will happen if your child misses the bus? What should your child do if no one is there to meet them when they get home? Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, work-at-home mom, or a full-time-working mom, chances are you’ll need to make sure there are plans in place in case there’s a snow day, sick day or early release.