Wasn’t it just yesterday that summer started? Yet, here we are, gearing up for another school year. And if you’re anything like us, the transition can be tough on everyone in the household. From getting back into a schedule to having homework again, the struggle is most definitely real. But good news, because help is here with our easy back-to-school tips. With a little planning and prep, you can bring on the next year like a champ.
It’s the two words the makes every summer-loving kid cringe: Alarm clock. Like it or not, it’s time to start waking up early again. And the more your practice, the better your mornings will be once school starts.
So, at least two weeks before school starts, have your kids get used to setting an alarm clock again. You can ease into the routine by setting it a little earlier each day, until you reach their normal wakeup time.
During this time, it’s also great to practice the rest of your morning routine. This includes getting your breakfast plan in order, bathroom schedules, departure times, and even picking out the clothes. The more you plan, the less stressful the mornings will be.
Tip: Designate a Homework Area
Did we say it’s “alarm clock” that makes the kids cringe? Maybe homework is the more dreaded phrase. In any case, you can make life on them (and you) a little easier by creating a designated homework area. This can be anything from a desk in their bedroom to a nook in a spare corner. Just make sure it’s stocked with supplies with plenty of good lighting.
Speaking of supplies—this is when the kids get to have some fun. Bring them shopping with you, and let them pick out one or two splurges, like those neon markers. This will help get them excited to put everything to use, which can really help with homework motivation.
Tip: Create a Command Center
Did we mention routines and schedules are tough? Because they are, and a command center will go a long way in keeping everyone in sync. One of our most helpful back-to-school tips, this can be as simple as a cork board with a calendar, where you can write down after-school activities and pin things like permission slips that need signing. Keep it in a common area like the kitchen so everyone can see it and remember to keep it updated.
Tip: Establish Connections
For many kids, going back to school can be stressful, especially if it’s a new school with new faces. Help them feel more comfortable by trying to establish connections ahead of time with both their classmates and the teacher.
Call parents from last years’ class to see if they’ll be in your child’s class this year. Or, see if you can get the phone list for the upcoming year and set up play dates over the summer. Check with the school to see if any events are taking place. Additionally, see if you can tour the school and/or meet the teacher ahead of the first day. All of this will build confidence going into the new school year.
Tip: Clean Their Rooms
Or, you know, have them clean their own bedrooms. Either way, a tidy room will promote a clear headspace at any age. And while you’re at it, organize the closet so that getting dressed in the morning is effortless. Put school clothes in a designated spot, and you can even take it an extra step by pairing outfits together with linked hangers. Anything to help the morning run smoothly is a plus!
Now this is one of everyone’s favorite back-to-school tips! Go do something fun as a family before summer is officially over. The kids will appreciate one last summer activity, like a day at the beach or pool.