While the summer months are wonderful, a new school year begins each year. Over the years I have found several tips to help get my children ready for school.
1. Shop early – We buy school supplies and clothes early so that we avoid stress, and last-minute shopping, and we get our choice of products, versus half-empty shelves and racks.
2. Bus passes – Each school district is different and has different policies. Our school district does not have school buses. The kids buy bus passes for the public buses that, during school hours, are labeled for school only. These must be bought in advance and they will not sell more passes than seats available.
3. Lunch tickets- We can buy school lunch tickets prior to school beginning so that our children can have a hot lunch that first week of school while the lunch schedule is being made.
4. Visit the new school – As my kids began elementary school we went and visited the kindergarten classrooms and playgrounds. We even played on the playground a few times. We then revisited the school entering 1st grade. At the junior high and high school levels, it can help alleviate stress when you visit the schools ahead of time.
5. Plan your calendar – As soon as you know which days are short days, which days are school holidays and which days are school breaks, get them into your calendar. Also, as the kids begin their sports practices, make sure everything is in your calendar so that your child knows what their school week routine will be. A routine helps eliminate school-related stress.
6. Buying books – Often we have received letters from teachers or the school suggesting books we will need. This is especially true at the high school level when outside textbooks might need to be bought from the college campus, or specific reading books are being required by English teachers. Buy these just as soon as you can. In my town there are never enough books for all of the kids who need them. Our poor Borders is always stuck trying to rush-order reading books for the kids who didn’t buy early.
7. Visit the doctor – At different ages, immunizations or specific hearing and vision tests are required. Don’t wait. Doctor offices fill up and you don’t want your child penalized for not having the necessary shots or tests. Book your appointments over the summer to get everything out of the way.
8. Change your home routine – We always change our sleep routine one-to-two weeks before school starts. We start going to bed earlier and getting up earlier so that when school starts, we are accustomed to being up at 6:00 a.m.
We take each of these steps to try making going back to school as stress-free as possible. Last-minute rushes cause panic for everyone. Enjoy those first weeks of school.