The end of the summer is the best time for parents but the worst time for kids. We’ve had our kids home for nearly three months, driving us nuts, eating all of our food and causing our sanity to trickle down the drain. Yes, we may have had fun vacations and days with our kids, but be honest, when they’re home they’re just wreaking havoc on everything they lay their hands on. Regardless, we do love our kids. (I keep telling myself that especially when I see a toilet paper trail down my hallway.)
Even though back-to-school time is exciting for us parents, it can also be very stressful once we get those school supply lists, uniform order forms (if your kids wear uniforms) and realize all that you have to do to prepare your kids to go back to school. Here are some tips to make the transition from summer to school easier:
Get Firm on Bedtime
If you’re anything like me, you become very lenient on bedtimes in the summer and allow your kids to stay up later than you normally would. While this is great in the summer because, for the most part, there isn’t a reason that your kids need to get up early; it can be a hard transition once school time comes around. The best advice that I can give is to not wait until last minute to reinstate the school night bedtime. The longer you wait, the harder it’s going to be for your kids to get used to winding down earlier and getting to bed at a reasonable hour. I suggest reinstating their bedtime about a month before they go back to school and be firm on the fact that they need to start winding down earlier than they’re used to. Remember that it normally takes 30 days to form a habit, so by the time school rolls around they will be used to the new bedtime.
Get Them Up Earlier
Depending on your child, this may happen naturally once they start going to bed earlier. If your kids are anything like mine, they can sleep for hours like a bear hibernating for winter. (I like my sleep too, I can’t really blame them honestly.) Once you get your kids to go to bed earlier, have them wake up around the time that they will begin to wake up for school so that they can get used to it slowly. You can also slowly start to wake them up earlier and earlier until you reach the time that they would be getting up for school, for some kids this is the way to transition them. I would say that it fully depends on whether or not your kids are happy or grumpy in the morning. Do what works best for you.
Make Sure the Summer Homework is Done
Summer homework sucks, let’s be real. We didn’t like it when we were kids, our kids don’t like it and frankly, we don’t like them having it. However, summer homework is a thing, it has always been a thing and we have to have our kids do it regardless of what our opinions are about it. About a month before school starts is also the time that I would get out the summer homework to make sure that it’s complete, correct and ready to go back to school. If it’s not complete, sit down with your kids and get that work done. You don’t have to have them complete it all at once, carve out an hour each day so that they can sit down and get the work done. This would be the same thing with any summer reading that they need to get done.
Workbooks & Flash Cards
I’ve always been big on workbooks and flash cards because my mom had me do them in the summer when I was a child. It’s just something that I got used to and I feel that it helped me during the summer, so I do the same with my girls. Throughout the summer we work on their grade-level workbooks that I purchased and we also do flash cards of anything that they may have learned the year prior. I do this so that my girls don’t lose what they learned during the year over the summer and that education stays fresh in their minds. We do about an hour a day of work so they don’t get too overwhelmed or bored with what we are doing.
Go Through Clothing
Before I do any back-to-school shopping I pull out the clothes from the previous year and go through them. Everything that would still fit my kids gets put into one box, anything that I want to sell or donate gets put into another box and I make sure to save most of my oldest daughter’s clothes for my youngest. This helps to see what you have, what you can still use and helps you to declutter before any more clothing comes into the house. This can potentially save you a lot of money if you still have clothes that you can use for the upcoming school year. Personally, it also gives me a sense of pride and accomplishment to go through the clothes and get rid of clothing that would otherwise be clutter.
School Supply Shopping
Oh yes, every parent’s favorite thing to do before school starts. Personally, I freaking hate school supply shopping. It’s crowded, people are reaching over you to grab anything they possibly can because, honestly, they don’t want to be supply shopping either. It’s a nightmare to go school supply shopping. I try to get this done as early as I possibly can to avoid the school supply rush closer to the start of school. I absolutely hate being in crowds of people because I get very angry at everyone around me…so the earlier the better.
School Clothing Shopping
School clothes shopping can either be fun or absolutely horrible, depending on your child. I enjoy clothes shopping with my youngest because she’s very easy to please and very agreeable to whatever I choose. On the other hand, I try to avoid clothes shopping with my pre-teen because she’s a pain in the ass. Everything she wants to buy is too tight, too short or not appropriate for school, whenever I choose something it’s automatically the wrong thing, we have arguments in the middle of the store and sometimes I feel like walking out and leaving her there to fend for herself.
Whatever type of child you may have, clothes shopping is necessary before school starts. Even if you have clothes that your kids can wear from the previous year, it’s always good to get them some new wardrobe items for school and, of course, that first day of school outfit that is so important to the kids.