6 Tips for Getting your Family Back-To-School Ready
Give kids a smart start for back-to-school!
As summer days fade away, the reality of another school year is beginning to set in.
The back-to-school transition is never easy, whether your child is itching to reconnect with school friends or dreading the first day back. To help ease the transition, here are some tips for your young scholar — and you — before it’s time to snap those first-day-of-school photos.
- Turn back time. Determine when you need to leave home in the morning, and set a bedtime that allows you to get up, get ready and get out the door in plenty of time. Young children do best with nine or 10 hours of sleep, so a week or two before school begins, adjust to earlier bedtimes and meal times. Stay on schedule by using a timer to signal that bath, story or snuggle time begins in five minutes.
- Think about breakfast, lunch and snacks. Take your daily routine into consideration when planning nutritious school-day meals. If you have an early workday, plan grab-and-go breakfasts such as smoothies, yogurt or protein bars, and reduce morning stress by packing lunches the night before. No time to prep? Cut fruits and veggies on the weekends, or purchase precut produce.
- Stock up on backpacks and clothing. Nothing says first day of school like a fresh new outfit or backpack. As you stock up on school supplies, include your kids in the process to get them excited. Sort through old clothing and school items before you hit the mall and note what is still usable -- and what isn’t -- based on summer growth spurts and changing trends.
- Consider before- and after-school care. If there is going to be a change in your child’s care providers, discuss the plan as a family. Solidify transportation plans and provide the school with contact information for anyone caring for your child. Then practice the morning drive to evaluate traffic so you know what to expect.
- Get check-ups. Updating your kids’ health care records before school starts will save you valuable time in case of a medical emergency. Make sure they are up to date on physicals and immunization records, and alert new teachers about concerns, allergies or special needs. Also refill prescriptions and over-the-counter meds, and double-check that all of your children’s health and emergency contact forms are current.
- Plan for success. Take advantage of orientation and classroom visits to reduce anxiety and build excitement for the first day, whether it’s attending an open house or reading up on this year’s curriculum. At home, designate zones for backpacks, school papers and completing homework that are separate from play areas – and make sure everyone in your family knows the rules.
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