Getting Back in the School Groove
By Dr. Kailey Fargo
The first day of school is approaching quickly! In an effort to prepare ourselves and our children for the back-to-school schedule, I have concocted a list of some simple things to start focusing on as the summer starts to wind down. Here is a week-by-week guide to get you started:
Three Weeks Before School:
- Do a clothing assessment: sort through drawers and dressers to see what still fits and what holes might need to be filled.
- Put in an order: online shopping is convenient but get ahead when you can! Focus on clothing, backpacks, lunch boxes, water bottles, and school supplies.
- Health check: get your child in for a back-to-school adjustment! There’s no better way to boost their immune system and start them on the right foot. We can assess new shoes and backpacks too!
- Also, consider bringing them to an optometrist to ensure eye prescriptions are up to date.
- Start a schedule: Pull out the fall calendar and add all classes, practices, and events so everyone can start to get familiarized with the new routine.
Two Weeks Before School:
- Command center: have a designated basket that can collect all things school related including papers, library books, class calendars, and field trip forms.
- Head to the mall: certain things are better when tried on, like shoes. Plan a trip to get all the necessities. Have your kiddo pick out a couple of new clothing items too to help ramp up the excitement, too!
- Start talking about SCHOOL: kids need time to process change so the more you can talk about it, the better. Stay upbeat!
- Return to routine: get kids back on a proper sleep schedule by moving up bedtime 15 minutes each night (if bedtime has gotten looser over the summer). Then start practicing waking up on time and getting dressed.
One Week Before School:
- Organize your entryway: give each kid their own basket or area for their shoes, coats, and backpacks. This way, they will know exactly where to go during the first week, preventing the clutter from entering the house.
- Create and workstation: Create a special spot that your child will start to associate with work time. This might mean getting summer clutter off your kid’s desk or choosing a nice basket and pencil dedicated to the kitchen table.
- Stock up on snacks: pure expired items and gather a stash of healthy snack options for when the hungry kids arrive home for the day.
The Weekend Before:
- Make a lunch menu: create a list of options for main dishes, sides and snacks that you can rotate through each week. This helps keep life simplified for you as the parent.
- Celebrate: talk about the fun aspects of summer and the goals for the upcoming school year. Help them appreciate the passing time and give them a chance to reflect on their vacation.
The Night Before:
- Pack the backpacks: make sure all school supplies and present and accounted for, and everything is labeled with your child’s name.
- Finalize their wardrobe: layout that special first-day-of-school outfit, including socks and underwear to make things easier in the morning
- Early to bed: the excitement of the night before can make it hard to get to bed on time but it’s super important for them to be rested! Tire them out with exercise and start the nighttime routine earlier than normal. Be prepared for tears, jitters, and endless questions!
- Set your alarm: wake up a bit early to make sure there is time for breakfast, pictures, wardrobe malfunctions, and a potential meltdown.
Most importantly? Enjoy the last few beautiful weeks of summer together as a family and help encourage them to revel in the upcoming fun of the school year!