Nine steps to a smart start
With a little planning, you can make going back to school simple and stress-free.
Start a family calendar in a common area where each family member can write down his or her activities.
By GreatSchools Staff
As the lazy days of summer slip away, it will soon be time to put away the beach chairs and corner lemonade stands and prepare for going back to school. Here are some tips to make the transition easier.
Adjust to the new routine
Ease into the school-year schedule. Getting back into the school routine can be a challenge for everyone in the family. To make the adjustment easier, start early.
- A few weeks before school starts, move bedtime back to an earlier time.
- Put a positive spin on going back to school. Talk about the fun things your child will learn, the old friends he'll see and the new friends he'll make.
- If your child is anxious about starting the next grade, reassure her that other children have these feelings too.
- Don't make plans for big trips right before the start of school.
- Establish school-day schedules for homework, TV, baths and bedtime.
- Arrange play dates with friends from school to re-establish connections that may have been dropped for the summer, or to create new ones.
Take advantage of the slower pace during your time away from school to set up for the busy school year ahead.
- Many schools send out school information and a packet of forms to fill out before school starts. If you can discipline yourself to fill out the paperwork several days before it's due, you'll avoid a last-minute panic.
- Have the necessary immunization records available for easy reference.
- Update school emergency contact and health information for the coming year.
- As you read through all the school information, mark important dates (such as back-to-school night, parent-teacher conferences and school holidays) on the family calendar.
- Start a folder for school newsletters and other papers so that you can easily find and refer to them if necessary.
- Establish a "get ready the night before" policy. Pick clothes for the next day and pack the backpack every evening before bedtime, and you'll save precious time in the morning.