Are you prepping your kids to go back to school? As much as I hate to think about it, it’s that time of year when summer break is winding down and the beginning of a new school year is upon us. If you are like me, you might not feel ready interrupt your summer fun with buying school supplies at the end of July, but there are other things you may need to do to prepare for the coming year.
Here are 10 things you might need to consider before the school year begins:
Bedtime habits. During the summer things can get a little crazy and schedules can fly out the window. Bedtimes that seem reasonable during the school year end up being later and later during the summer. According to my pediatrician, elementary age children should have a bedtime at 7:30 p.m. if they have to wake up at 6:30 a.m. to get dressed for school.
Children have to remain awake and alert not only for school, but also for homework after school as well. Therefore, they need 11 hours of sleep to help them function. Putting them to bed at an earlier time one month before school can help them adjust back into good sleeping patterns before school starts.
Early morning wake up calls. It seems the older your child is the harder it is for him or her to wake up early. However, it’s even harder if sleeping in has become a summer standard. If your child struggles with early mornings, now is the time to begin rising early. One good way to get them up is to have them go on an early morning walk or jog with you. It wakes them up, you both get exercise, and time together.
Prep your house to be school year friendly. This is something I do every year, and I thank myself every December! Around this time every year, I have the kids deep clean their rooms, the gameroom, and their library. I have them get rid of junk and clothes that no long fit. My goal is to make the house void of hard-to-clean clutter.
We don’t have time during the school year to be cleaning daily so we purge the house every August. We also figure out where they want their special study space to be and get it ready. We organize their desks, throw out last years trash, and put items they will need within reach. Dictionaries, pencils, paper, etc., are all organized and prepped for used in the coming year. It creates a good atmosphere for them, and they get excited about using their study space when school starts.
Don’t forget your doctors. Honestly, I hate taking my kids to the doctor, but they are required to have physicals for sports and/or they need well-child check ups. August is perfect because there are less sick children in the doctor’s office and I don’t have to check them out of school. Also I have a son with a peanut allergy so we have to see him to get the proper updates documents for the school. Eye exams and dental cleanings are also scheduled so that we can do less of those kinds of visits during the school year. Vaccinations are also something to consider at this time. Schools want-up-to date shot records, so if your kids need their shots, it’s time to get that done and submitted.
End of summer reading. Many parents begin the summer planning to have their children read daily, but arrive at the end of summer with the regret of not following through. It’s okay; kids need a break. During this last month before school starts, it is helpful to have them read 30 minutes before bed each night. It helps them develop good study habits.
Go visit grandma and grandpa one more time! Now, I know this seems out of place, but during the school year our lives can become filled with sports, homework, birthday parties, and a host of other busy events that keep us from visiting family. Children need memories of their grandparents while they are young. They need to know they are loved and valued family members. They need to learn to love and value their elders. It’s good to make sure they see their grandparents before the craziness of the school year gets in the way.
Take your kids to the grocery store and have them help you plan the lunches for school if they brown bag it. This is another thing we do every year before school. I let the kids pick things they think they might want for lunch (their tastes do change year to year), and we do tests to see if they really like their lunch picks. It’s better than them hating it at school.
Shopping for school clothes. If your children wear uniforms, you may be lucky enough to have an exchange where you can buy or trade used uniforms. Our school has a Facebook page dedicated to uniform trading. For those without uniforms, back to school shopping can be lots of fun or lots of stress, either way growing kids require clothing. Tax free days are good, as are “back to school” sales. The Internet is a great way to find the best sales and coupons.
Start your box top clipping again! Lots of schools depend of box tops to find various projects. It’s good to get the jump on saving them. Some schools give the kids who bring the most prizes so get clipping!
Check your school website and/or Facebook pages to see the latest updates. Most classes these days have Facebook pages where parents and teachers communicate. There might be information on the those sites that will help you be better prepared for the coming year. It’s good to check.