Getting Back Into the Swing of School Season

If your family is anything like mine, summer has taken over every aspect of your lives. The hour for bedtime is later, mornings are lazy, the house is disorganized, and it is not uncommon to find us in our pajamas until noon. So, the swing back into the school season, especially if your child rides an early bus, is a brutal one.

Here are some things we will be doing to ease back in.

Start Shifting Bedtimes: Although we have become quite relaxed in the summer, a couple of weeks before school starts, I start getting our kids closer to the bedtime they will need for the school year. Start by shifting the bedtime clock just fifteen minutes, gradually easing them into the new time. If your child struggles to fall asleep because it is still light out, room darkening shades or curtains can help, especially during the early part of the school year.

Get Stocked Up For School: We make a day out of getting ready for our school year together. That includes shopping for school supplies, buying new uniforms and getting new shoes. Kids love being part of this, and it helps everyone get organized for the upcoming year. If getting it accomplished in one day seems overwhelming, use the month before, and schedule one outing a week to prepare. This not only helps it feel less overwhelming, it also helps break down the financial expenses coming out of your bank account.

Get Organized: Organization is hard in the summer, but it’s essential if our family plans to enjoy a successful school year. I restock our lunchbox packing station with snacks and drinks. I also start putting together our family calendar. (I love the free calendar app, Cozi.) And we start compiling items to donate from the previous year that we have outgrown and no longer need.

Create a Homework Station: For our kids, having a quiet place to complete homework is essential for a successful school year. If you live in a small space like us, consider creating a homework station to help cut down on distractions. Make sure to provide a pencil box or bucket filled with freshly sharpened pencils and other homework essentials so your child can tackle homework efficiently.

Start Talking About It Now: Since my kids are older, they are not as fearful about school as they used to be. There are big transitional years for kids, like the first years of kindergarten, middle school and high school that can be scary for them (and you). Talk to them about their worries, and discover ways to help alleviate those fears. For us, it involved making sure we were at orientations, completing practice runs to school and getting our kids signed up for activities before the school year started so they could recognize familiar faces in the hallways. Younger children might benefit from reading books about what school is like. Make sure the lines of communication are open and that you are encouraging them. My strategy also involves a heck of a lot of hugs — for both of us!

Good luck with your school year, and I hope these tips help you swing back into the school season easily!

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