It's Back-To-School season and with our rainy weather comes schedules, time crunches and a need to get organized. I've always loved Fall and getting ready for school. I love new pencils and notebooks. I love the smell of new school books being cracked open and syllabuses being distributed. I admit to being a bit of an odd one.
Now as a parent, I'm a bit more stressed out about easing the transition from lazy summer days to the schedule-filled fall for my kids. There seems to be so much that I should do and sometimes I forget that there is a lot that I don't need to do. I polled some more experienced parents and have put together a list of what you should do to get ready for school and what doesn't need to be done.
Here are some DOs and DON'Ts for a healthy and organized transition for Back to School!
- DON'T buy any school supplies that you don't need. Check last year's supplies before heading out to purchase new items. Using up what you have is better for our planet and your wallet.
- DO prep everyone's lunches and snacks at the beginning of the week. You'll be set for the week with healthy, wholesome meals that will also help save you a few dollars.
- DO work on getting better sleep! Now is the time to get everyone on a better sleep schedule. Kids need to get enough sleep to grow and learn but parents need sleep too. It can be hard to get enough with early school start times, busy after-school activities and loads of homework. Good sleep hygiene can lead to improved focus, a stronger immune system, better learning abilities and better relationships.
- DON'T stress about making gourmet meals. Do plan ahead so you have easy to make breakfasts to help ease into school day mornings. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and studies show that a low-sugar, high-protein meal helps boost school performance while helping maintain healthy body weight and creating healthy eating habits. Do use the crockpot to help you get a quick and healthy dinner on the table. You'll thank yourself when you come rushing home from after-school activities to a hot meal.
- DO pre-pack backpacks and after-school activity bags so you are ready to go and don't end up late for school or soccer practice because you and/or your child couldn't find your kid's cleats.
- DO set up a homework station! Having a designated spot for homework will ensure important papers don't get lost and your student will always have a place to get their studies done. This is also a great place to store library books and other important items so they don't get lost or ruined.
- DON'T discount your child's anxiety about the coming school year. Take time to talk about your kid's new school or classroom. A new school year is filled with excitement for some kids and worry for others. Listening to your kid will help them soothe any fears and help them get even more excited for their school adventure.
- DO ease into the school year routine. Help your child transition by gently reminding them in the beginning weeks about homework, special items and events. Once they get a hang of their new routine, you'll be able to take a step back.
- DO tackle paperwork early and often. School seems to come with a lot of paper from homework polices to calendars and class information. Spend some time reading through the paperwork and develop a plan to deal with all the papers that are sure to come home with your kids.
- DON'T forget to have fun! School can and should be fun. Ask your kids what their favorite part of the school day at dinner. Allow them to share their concerns and celebrations about school.