The boys spent a few days at the beach knowing school will start before they know it.
Although it still feels like the beginning of summer – and that the new school year is light-years away – August is here and September is soon to follow. In order to prevent a crazy and hectic first week of school, take these tips to heart on how to prepare your kids (and yourself) for the start of school.
Get their School Supplies
August is school supply season, and that means sales on everything from coats and sneakers to book bags and binders. Before you go on a wild shopping spree, however, take stock of what your kids still have that’s usable. Have them get out the school supplies they shoved in the back of the closet at the end of June and see what’s still workable and what needs to be replaced.
Having a list before you head out doesn’t just keep you from purchasing supplies you don’t need. It also ensures that you don’t become so overwhelmed with your purchases that you end up forgetting to buy something important.
Sign Up for Before and After School Programs
Now is the time to figure out whether your kids will need before or after-school care and, if so, to get them into the right program. This could easily be something simple; for example, having the kids stay with a neighbor for the 30 minutes between when you have to leave for work and when their bus arrives. Or, you may need to set up something through the school – such as after-school recreation activities to pass the time between school letting out at 3:00 and work letting you out at 5:00.
Look for programs offered by your school, the school district, the city, and services like your local YMCA.
Getting on top of your back-to-school plans ahead of time will make that first week in September a lot less hectic, even with a new routine to get accustomed to.
Get School Physicals and Doctor Check-Ups Out of the Way
If your kids want to participate in after-school sports, they may be required to get a sports physical from their doctor. Indeed, depending on the requirements of their school or the state, they may need a physical or immunizations before they’re even allowed in the school building. Check ahead of time whether your kids need to be seen by a doctor and schedule those appointments for before school starts.
Speaking of doctors – now is the time to check whether your pediatrician and insurance is still working for you and your family. Have you had to wait days or weeks for an appointment with your kid’s doctor? Consider a membership-based health program, like one that provides direct primary care from MDVIP. The doctors in these types of programs have fewer patients – which means your kids get faster, more personalized care from someone who will take the time to get to know them.
Start Their New Routine Ahead of Time
If your kids have been sleeping in till 10 or 11 every morning, it’s going to be pretty difficult to get them out of bed in time for the 7:30 bus if they’re not used to it. A week or two before school is set to begin, start pushing bedtimes and wake-up times back to get them used to the new routine – before the first day of school.
Easing these times back over a longer duration – rather than suddenly starting the new routine on September 1st – helps make the transition smoother. After all, it’s been a couple months since they’ve had to be up at what feels like the crack of dawn. Getting used to waking up earlier makes for less cranky mornings come September.
It’s not only bedtimes and wake-up times that kids need to adjust to – there’s also mealtimes. Get the kids used to eating breakfast earlier, and find out when their lunchtime will be once school starts.
The start of school can be stressful for both you and your kids. You can reduce this stress by making a few plans in advance and working to ease the transition between summer and fall.