As a working mother of two boys, August is an extremely busy month for me as I imagine it is for many of you. Over the last few years, I have managed to organize myself in such a way that it allows for an easier transition back to school and back to our consistent routine. Since each year it seems to get better and better, I thought I would share with you, eight things that jump-start our great school year.
1. Make adjustments.
Make any adjustments needed to family routines including bedtimes, homework time, procedures for arriving home, getting up and out of the door in the morning, where backpacks will be placed when arriving home and implement them over a number of days leading up to the start of school.
2. Discuss expectations.
Discuss family expectations as it relates to chores and responsibilities prior to the start of school. This allows your child an opportunity to practice what is expected of them in a stress free way and ask questions.
3. Plan ahead.
Determine transportation to and from school in advance and have a back-up plan just in case. Be sure to update school records with the contact information of anyone who has permission to pick-up your child.
4. Pencil in dates.
If it is available, subscribe to the school calendar so important dates are automatically added to your calendar. If your child’s school does not have this option, then take the time to add all-important dates to your calendar before the year starts. While you are at it, go ahead and put in your vacation request for any days you want to take off when your children are out of school. Be sure to take note of early release days, closures, parent meetings, etc.
5. Discuss activities.
Discuss with your child what activities they want to be involved in throughout the school year. For example, if your child plays soccer, will they play with the school or will the play through the city league. Additionally, discuss the number of activities they are allowed to participate in during the school year. If you discuss this in advance, it is easier for your child to understand why they cannot participate in swimming, soccer and sing in the church choir.
6. Schedule appointments.
Be sure you schedule physicals, annual check-ups, dentist, eye appointments, etc. prior to the start of school so that you may update your child’s medical information with the school nurse as needed. You should also make any request for prescription’s that must be on hand at the school.
7. Shop early.
Purchase a backpack and lunch bag if your child will need them. I have learned the hard way that it is better to spend a little more on the purchase than purchase cheap, because I will end up replacing it sooner than later.
8. Purge files.
Purge all school related email correspondence from the previous year into a file in your email and create a new file for the current school year. Send your child’s teacher a greeting introducing your self and ask how you can support your child this year.
Of course, there are lots of other things that I do, but it is the eight that I’ve listed here that make our start great. What other things do you do to prepare for the upcoming school year?