Back to school is coming up — soon! It can be stressful to get everyone back into the routine, but there are things you can do to help make a more seamless transition from summer to school. It starts by getting organized.
After a summer filled with lazy days and dips in the pool, it can be tough to get everyone back into the groove of a new schedule and routine. With a little careful planning, you and your kids can make this back to school season less stressful and more enjoyable.
HOW TO GET INTO YOUR BACK TO SCHOOL ROUTINE
Plan your shopping trip
There is nothing more fun for kids than heading to the store to get brand new school supplies and clothes. But, before you head out, make sure you only buy what you need.
Look around your house to see if there are things you can use from the prior year. Even if you need to replace items, you can sometimes find the best discounts a few weeks after the school year starts. For instance, if you need a new backpack, start the year with the older one and wait until they are on sale. Then, replace it with one that costs much less!
Review the school supplies list for your child’s class. Find the scissors, pencil cases and other items that are left from last year and use them again. Get your kids involved since they need these things. It will be fun for them to help gather all of the things they will need to make going back to school as stress-free as possible.
When making your list, don’t forget to check out your child’s closet. Make a list of exactly what you need to buy for each child. Our clothes shopping list is the perfect way to make sure you don’t forget anything you need!
Start your Back to School Routine early
Around 7 – 10 days before school starts, you will want to get your kids into this schedule. That means following school bed and waking times. Have your kids get up, eat breakfast at their school times and be ready to go out the door by the time they would usually leave.
The way we do this is we ease back into that bedtime. For example, if school bedtime is 8:30 and they are up until 9 or 9:30 in the summer, we start to back down bedtime by 10 – 15 minutes each night so that they get used to going to bed a bit earlier. Make sure they do their full bedtime routine, including setting out clothes or getting backpacks ready, in addition to regular bedtime rituals.
Also, you want to east them into waking earlier in the morning as well. If your child currently sleeps in until 8:30, you need to ease them into getting up at 7:00 for school. On the first day, wake them up at 8:15 and then wake them 15 minutes earlier each day, until they are getting up at 7:00 a.m.
Change your eating schedule
Most kids eat right after they get up in the morning. If that means sleeping later in the summertime, they will also have breakfast and lunch at later times as well. Get your kids into their school schedule by having them not only eat breakfast as soon as they wake (see step above) but make sure lunch is around the regular time they eat at school as well.
You will also want to eat dinner each evening at the same time, so they have time to relax before bath and that earlier bedtime!
Create a family calendar that is visible
Talking about all of the school activities and events being on a centrally located calendar that the entire family can view and update. That way, everyone will start to watch the calendar and will know what is going on from registration to practices and even that first day of school.
Read More: Tools to Calm the Back to School Craziness
Get papers ready
If you know you have to show residency, vaccinations, health or physical forms when you register, start to work on the list now so that you have it ready when you enroll. There is nothing worse than getting to the school to realize you’ve left important documents at home.
Create a school center
Find an area where you can set backpacks, shoes, coats, etc. every day so that they are ready to go in the morning. Each night, get your kids into the habit of putting everything they need there – saves time and chaos in the morning.
Read More: Organizing the Entry Way
Work on school lunch ideas
If your child does not eat lunch at school, it means you need to pack one for them every day. Kids don’t always make the healthiest decisions when it comes to food, so mom and dad will need to help.
Come up with 10 – 15 different lunch menus your kids will enjoy. Then, plan your weekly shopping trip to include the product you will need for their lunch.
You can use our School Lunch Ideas planner to create different meals for your kids. This post even includes 30 days of wholly planned menus, doing the work for you.
If possible, do not plan any last minute vacations right before school begins. Trips and vacations sometimes take some recovery time (sleep and attitudes) after you get home. Keeping a simple, stay at home schedule can help ensure your kids are not overstimulated or tired, which can also help that back to school routine.