I don’t know about you, but we are in the full swing of things in my household for Back to School. My daughter begins her 5th grade year in a matter of two weeks, so we’ve got a lot of preparing to do. Not everything for Back to School involves shopping, however. Preparing for BTS means getting the kiddos back on a schedule so they can perform their very best in school. I’ve compiled a list of 10 Ways to Help Prepare Your Kids for Back to School that can help make it easier on the both of you. And the list isn’t all humdrum—there’s some fun things you can do with your child on it as well.
1. Reclaim Bedtime
My daughter has been plenty busy with summer school, science camp, and art camp this summer, but I’ve also allowed her to stay up a little later than I usually do during the school year. About a week and a half before school starts, I get her back on her school night routine of going to bed at 9:30. This helps her body transition back to her normal school hours. Without this transition time, it is often hard for kids to wake up early for school. Having them go back to their nightly routine prior to school starting will bode well for the both of you, and make it easier.
2. Write a Goal List
Each year before school begins, my daughter and I sit down and write a list of goals that she wants to accomplish during the school year. We hang it up in her room and refer to it every so often to check her progress. For instance, my daughter wanted to improve her grades in math last year, and she accomplished that goal. She also wanted to participate in more extracurricular activities and get a PE ribbon. We will be working on this year’s goal list for the school year very soon.
3, Kids’ Checklist
Having a Kids’ Daily Checklist can make it easier for both of you to be on the same page. It can help your kids with responsibility and being on top of their chores, homework, hygiene, etc., and it’s a good way for you to make sure they are doing what you have asked them to do. I’ve got a neat Kids’ Daily Checklist Printable that is awesome for kids aged 6 and up and can be a fun way for the both of you to stay on top of things.
4. Look at the Curriculum
Prior to the school year, I always take a look at the curriculum to see what will be taught. Then I go over it with my daughter, and if need be, purchase extra items that can help her at home with her learning. School is a partnership between the school and the parent, and we need to be as active as possible.
5. Meet the Teacher
If you have the opportunity before hand, meet the teacher. This can give you an insight on their personality and teaching style, and can also help your child too. I always send an email introducing myself to the teacher before school starts so they know I am an active parent and want to be involved. Your child may also appreciate getting to meet their teacher beforehand as well. Try to visit the classroom as well before school starts to help make your child comfortable.
6. Have a Real Talk
Have a real talk with your child about both of your expectations for the school year. Be open and honest and allow them to do so as well. Having these types of conversations will make the transition to their new grade easier, and it can also be a bonding opportunity for you and your brood.
The time to get organized is before school starts, not after. Go through clothes and shoes and donate or give away the items that no longer fit. Clean out the closet so that everything is neat and tidy (this is something they should be helping you with as well). Organize your child’s room, which may have gotten disheveled over the course of the summer. Provide tools for the upcoming year like my Parenting Hack In and Out Box for Schoolwork and Papers that can help the both of you stay on top of things.
8. School Notes
Help get your child back in the game by leaving them words of encouragement so that they are “armed” with positivity to start their school year. My daughter loves it when I leave her notes reminding her how much I love her and how I awesome of a kid I think she is. This may seem small, but it goes a long way in terms of helping your child reach their potential.
Does your family have any upcoming trips or special dates coming up during the school year? A fun activity to do together is to sit down and “plan” your year and mark special dates on a family calendar. This will also come in handy when notifying the school of days your child might be absent. My daughter is in charge of our family calendar and takes pride keeping it current and updated for the school year.
It may be a busy time preparing for the new school year. But when you fret, they fret too. Try to remain calm and composed, and most likely, your kids will too. Remaining calm while focused is something that your child will thank you for and in turn, they will be able to start their school year off on the right foot and stress free. Here’s to another successful year of school my friends! Do you have any other tips to add to my list?