Going Back To School 101

Here are a few ways to prepare yourself and your child for the new school year.

When the alarm went off at 6:30 a.m., I cringed at the thought that this would be my fall schedule. As the mom of a new kindergartener and a new preschooler, I quickly realized this would be my new morning routine. Gone were the days of sleeping and staying in our pajamas and snuggling. The reality set in that in order to combat problems in the morning, I would need to get organized. 

I spoke with my mom friends to find out what works for them and see if I could incorporate it into our new routine. I have a preschooler and a kindergartener who both must be dropped off at two different schools with start times that are within 10 minutes of each other. This tends to be a common problem for many families and requires a methodical plan.

Back To School Checklist:

  • Make sure your child does not need any vaccinations or physicals. If so, schedule them as soon as possible.
  • Purchase all school supplies needed for your child’s class (take advantage of the back to school sales both online and in stores).
  • Purchase new school clothes or uniforms. Be sure to have them washed and ready to wear.
  • Coordinate carpool or bus pickup time.
  • Look at the school lunch menu or purchase items for your child to picke out for lunches.
  • If your child requires medication or plan of action, have that ready to give to the nurse on the visiting day or first day of school.
  • For those who need before or after-school care, have that coordinated and in place for when your child starts school. If you are utilizing an in-school, after-care program, make sure that all necessary paperwork is turned into the school and your child is comfortable with where to go when school is finished for the day.

A problem that is often overlooked is the transition from summer to school schedule is bedtime. Huffington Post family therapist Susan Stiffelman advises advancing bedtime about 10 minutes per night and setting aside some quiet time for the child to wind down. This helps you avoid a power struggle, particularly if your children are going to bed much earlier than they were during the summer. 

“For many American kids, eating habits tend to suffer over the summer; To help your child sleep well, pay attention to what your child eats during the second half of the day, and try to ensure that your child is consuming healthy foods,” Stiffelman said.

Regardless of what you do to prepare your children for the upcoming school year, both you and your children will likely be cranky the first week of school. 

Getting accustomed to a new schedule is difficult, so be sure to discuss your new routine and be as prepared as possible to make that first day is not stressful.

I am fully prepared to see many of my friends and colleagues reunite at the Starbucks and Deer Creek Coffee lines in the next couple of weeks after dropping their children off at school.


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