It’s almost that time again - time to go back to school! It’s hard to believe that school will be starting any day now, but as summer winds down, it’s important to gradually get back into the groove.
We all miss summer and its flexibility, but the school year also brings a lot of fun and more structure. It can be a great time to reexamine priorities, take a solid look at schedules, and truly get prepared for the year ahead. With a little bit of prep, you’ll be ready for back to school success!
Routines aren’t established overnight, so ease into a new one gradually. Starting a few weeks before school starts, begin having your kids go to bed a bit earlier. Start with 10 minutes, then 30, then 60, and so on, until they’re close to the time they will go to bed during the school year.
This is a much better approach than fighting on the first night back! It establishes expectations, gets kids sleeping more normally for the school year, and allows them to get on a schedule that works for them. It’s also important to try to have them wake up a bit earlier too, so they can practice being active in the mornings.
This is a great time of year to look at your home based career schedule and see where you can improve, change, or be flexible. You might realize that you’re off balance in terms of work. Maybe there’s too much going on, maybe there’s not enough. If it’s the latter, take a moment to browse some new job positions.
You can also take some time to look at the schedule of your whole family for those first few weeks. Will your kids be starting a sport? Some type of rehearsal? Adjust the family’s schedules around those first few weeks and months to make going back a lot easier.
It’s a lot easier to get your back to school supplies now! Avoid the mad rush and create your list. Browse the list from your children’s teachers, or simply find some basic back to school shopping lists online. It’s better to go in prepared so you don’t forget anything. Go on an off peak time and have your kids select their items. It’s more fun to get them involved, and they can choose items that match their personality.
Also, make back to school shopping fun. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, but you can make a fun day out of it so your kids are encouraged to start the new year on a positive note.
Setting goals this time of year is important for you and your family members. While this doesn’t need to be done until closer to back to school time, it gets everyone into the habit of thinking ahead and working towards something.
Set some short-term goals that can be accomplished within the first few weeks of going back, such as sticking to bedtimes, agreeing to a proper place in the house to study, getting all the lunches packed, creating a work schedule that will work for the school year, and applying to a certain amount of jobs in a week. You can also set longer term goals with your kids, such as making the spring musical, playing a sport, or saving a specific amount of money for a purchase.
The goals don’t necessarily need to do with school, but are more for getting everyone thinking and being more productive during the school year.
Above all else, it’s so important to enjoy the rest of the summer. While you slowly implement tasks and items that will make the school year much smoother, don’t forget to enjoy the rest of this time of year. You can even create a summer “bucket list” of items that you still have time to do.
Take another small trip or enjoy a staycation and technology-free weekend. Take an afternoon to do something fun in your local area. Book reservations at a fun restaurant for your kids. Soak in this time and create memories! Schedule more playdates, more pool days, and fun times with your family.
You can certainly prepare for back to school while still enjoy the rest of what summer has to offer. Then, when the school year starts, you’ll be all set for success!