Is the thought of the approaching school year stressing you out? No worries, those feelings get the best of us. After all, when the kids don’t have homework, that means you don’t have homework either and it’s easy to just not deal with the concept of school until it’s upon you.
It’s possible, though, to do something kind for your future self, and make the approaching school year as easy as possible on you and your littles. With a little bit of preparation, the transition from summer to school year can be painless and fun!
Build Good Habits
Summer is a ton of fun, and there’s no shame if your kids have gotten used to staying up and sleeping late. A few weeks before school starts, though, it’s a good idea to go ahead and implement a bedtime to get your kiddos used to getting a good night’s sleep again. That’s about ten hours for elementary-aged kids, because they’ll need their rest to be productive at school.
On the other hand, it’s a great idea to retain some of the positive habits you might have built up during the summer. If you and your kids have been drinking more water, consider reinforcing this habit with new, school-appropriate water bottles (if allowed).
Remember not to stop using sunscreen for kids just because the weather gets cooler or you’re spending more time indoors. You can still get sunburn even in the cooler weather and when exposed to UV light through windows. So, make sure you and your kids are still arming yourself against UV rays with daily sunscreen use.
Create A Homework Station
One way to get kids in a “school” state of mind is to create a homework station in your home. Set aside a small area in your kitchen or in their rooms where they can hang backpacks, and keep them stocked with notebooks, pens, pencils, crayons, and books.
Consider adding some “quiet time” every night for fifteen minutes or so where your children are allowed to draw, read, or write at their desks, in order to get them used to sitting down each night for homework.
Get to Know the School
This is the most important if your child will be starting a new school, but it’s helpful for younger returning kids, too. If possible, head to your school’s open house, so your children know how to get around their new school. Walk with them to all the necessary classes they’ll need to find, as well as essential, helpful services like the front office and the nurse’s station.
If your school is going remote this year, get to know your child’s teacher. Reach out to them via phone or e-mail. A lot of teachers are eager to share their plans for the new school year and to get to know their students’ parents.
So often we make things harder for ourselves by waiting until the last minute and just letting the school year happen to us, but if we know it’s coming, there are definitely things we can do to mitigate the stress.
The kids heading back to school can be a happy time, for you and them, and the easiest way to make sure that happens? Preparation!