It’s that time of year again. You’ve received new teacher assignments, have open house on the calendar and if you are like me, could be counting down the days to quieter days. Back to school is just around the bend, involving a lot of transition and excitement. Having a few years under my Mom belt, I’ve learned a few ways to ease the seasonal shift. I’ve outlined below 5 things to do NOW to make back-to-school a breeze.
1. Get clothes shopping done early
There’s nothing worse then waiting last minute. All the stores are picked over and you find yourself hitting every store within driving distance just to settle on a few shirts that might work. Never mind the unorganized shelves and struggle to find the right size. Retailers (Old Navy, Land’s End, and Target to name a few) are smart in offering back to school sales early, and as a customer I’d advise to take advantage of them. Hitting the mall the day (or even weekend) before school starts will leave you high and dry. If you know me, you know my thoughts on why I think shopping online has it’s best advantages. (You can read more on them here) The same thoughts apply with back to school shopping. Shopping from home will save you the hassle of all mentioned. Inventory is more accessible online anyway and ordering in advance will allow you to exchange sizes if needed.
2. Set the schedule
Routine can quickly take a back seat once Summer hits. That’s what Summer is about anyway, am I right? No alarms, no set schedule, no homework agenda. But that 7am (for some even earlier) wake up call can be harsh that first week of school. And we most certainly don’t want our kids to come home hungry, due to their lack of eating lunch at lunchtime. It’s not out of norm to see my kids still in pajamas around noon these days, so I am gradually resetting their clocks on a more structured schedule. Getting them on routine, and informing them of bed times, meals, and our family plans will set their school days up for success.
3. Prepare for independence
This year, Ellie will be heading into Kindergarten, and tho I may not be ready, her age says otherwise. My mini me and I hold a special bond, always finding each other within arms reach. And it’s hard to let go. But it’s time for her to branch away from Momma a little bit and do things for herself. Yes, there will be teachers and helpers always an ask away, but developing independence is important. Naturally, it eases the stress of those around her. It quickens car pick up lines if she knows how to independently buckle her seat belt. It frees up lunch time in the cafeteria if given easy open meal options. The same holds true for older children. Doing a trial run of how to get to the bus stop, or learning the bike route to school will prepare them for the tasks ahead. Yes, there are all sorts of nerves and an onset of tasks on the first day of school, but the last thing I want them to worry about is their inability to do them.
4. Make education their mindset
I’ll be the first to admit, those promises to ‘read each day’ and practice the lessons learned went out the window a few weeks after school went out. I will credit some of that to our out of state move and all that was on plate. But I know that isn’t an excuse to hault their continuance of education outside the school year’s calendar. I understand the importance of practice, and that levels of reading can drastically decrease if not consistent. Wether you’ve chosen to input some sort of learning into their Summer break routine or it’s been put on the back burner for reasons mentioned, first tell yourself it’s okay either way. You aren’t a bad parent in any instance. Summer is full of all sorts of adventures, vacations, and life experiences that they have learned off paper. Second, incorporate (even if 30 minutes a day) the routines of school into their schedule. Wether that’s reading a book or two at night before bed, writing a few letters to grandma, letting them help measure ingredients while cooking, or limiting their screen time solely to online learning sites – reintroducing education and all the activities performed in school will bring learning to the forefront. The rise in schooling activity will also make the transition back to 8 hour days much easier.
5. Stick to Summer promises
I am not saying to drop everything and take a full family Disney vacation just so your little guy can say it was the Summer to remember.. that would be silly and downright threatening on a budget. More so, provide your kiddos the ability to check the things they’ve hoped for off their Summer list. I say often, I wish my day’s worries were that of my kids. Not knowing what’s for dinner or what time the neighborhood pool opens is far less detrimental than the cares that come with being an adult. I know being a stay at home mom has its advantages. And I do occasionally bask in the joys of all that Summer brings – sleeping in way past morning, snacking all day, and mindless play at the pool. But, alas I am an adult and should be mindful of my parental duties.
Despite my desire to live Summer as it once was, I often discredit my children’s expectations, thinking that it’s not That big of deal if they aren’t met. Jonah’s dream to hit the skate shop and learn some ‘sick tricks’ this Summer wasn’t top on July’s bucket list. But we made sure he marked it off of this season’s to-dos, knowing the value of keeping our promises and importance of new experiences. That all said, if you promised sleep overs, campfire s’mores, or even a trip to the beach town’s arcade, stick to your word. It will give them a feeling of accomplishment, confidence having learned you value their interests and a readiness to start the new year fresh.
Have any other tips to make the back-to-school transition a little easier? With school starting in less than 2 weeks, this Momma is in full prep mode. I’ll take any suggestions to lighten our stress load! Share with me in comments or DM on Insta! As always, thank you for stopping by!