10 Simple Tips to Make Back to School Transitions Easier

Back to school is an exciting time of the year – and also stressful!  Here are some ways to minimize the stress so that you and your kids can enjoy the start of the school year together.

Get Adjusted to the New Schedule Early

Let’s face it – summer bedtimes aren’t usually very strict! If your family has gotten into the habit of staying up late, then don’t wait until the first week of school to starting changing!  A few weeks ahead of time, start imposing school-year bedtimes so that your kids (and you) will have some time to adjust.  This will save a lot of struggle when you’re trying to get them up in the morning!

Meet the Teachers

New-teacher and new-school stress can be a real issue for kids.  Fortunately, most schools have an open house/meet the teacher event at the beginning of the year. Make sure to take advantage of this so your children can be introduced to their teachers ahead of time – and also so they can check out their new room and fellow students. 

This is also a good time to introduce yourself and learn about volunteering opportunities for the academic year.

Keep Meals Simple at First

Even if things are going smoothly, you’re probably not going to want to indulge in four-course dinners the first week of school! At the very least, plan your meals ahead of time.  One pot meals or dinners that can stretch for two sittings are good choices.  You might also want to consider something like an easy “build your own sandwich” dinner with salads and healthy fixings on the side. The bottom line: keep it simple! Your kids are adjusting and need the extra bonding time with you.

Shop for Supplies Ahead of Time

This one’s pretty obvious, but it’s worth repeating.  The back-to-school ritual usually involves a massive amount of shopping – do it ahead of time if at all possible.  Schools usually send home a list of school supplies your child will need and there are some basics at every level – make sure the items on your list have been purchased and the supplies are ready to go.

Prep the Night Before

Planning pays! Especially on the night before the first day of school, make sure to get into nighttime routines for easy mornings. Have your kids pick out their outfit and lay it out for the morning – and do the same for yourself! Have the backpacks ready to go and hanging out by the front door for easy access. You can even set the table for breakfast so that it is ready when you get up.  Small preparations add up and can make the morning smoother.

Map Your Route

Do you have several schools on your list for drop-offs? Multiple drop-off sites can make for a complicated and stressful morning.  Know ahead of time what route you will take and map it out.  If you have the chance, you can drive it ahead of time by yourself so you’re familiar with the best way to go.  This, too, can seriously cut down on the stress factor!

Make Family Time the First Week Back

The first week of school can go by in a blur.  But even though it can be challenging, it’s worthwhile to make time for the whole family to get together. All family dinners are important. You can also schedule time for everyone to go for a walk in the park or have a family movie night.  This will help everyone to relax and reconnect even during a hectic week.

Get Them into an After-School Routine

Even if your kids are looking forward to the first day of school, starting it up again is a major change. A structured after-school routine helps get them settled in quickly.  Have a set routine of snack and homework time, play time, dinner, and quiet after-dinner activities.  It won’t take them long to get into this rhythm if you keep things consistent.

Let Them Have Friends Over

You won’t want to throw a big party the first week back, but if your child has made new friends at school, it’s ok to invite them over for a play date or dinner.  This will allow you to meet your child’s new friends and hopefully take some of the stress out of back-to-school.

Just Talk About It!

Even with all your careful planning, kids can still feel stressed out.  So keep the lines of communication open with your child. Family dinners are a great time to do this, but using the quiet time before bed to talk helps kids unwind and process the events of the day. 

What do you do to make your back-to-school routine easier?

Tags : education   back to school   

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