It’s hard to believe that it is almost time for the kids to go back to school. The summer flew by! Some have more time than others, but either way, there are things that you can do now to ease the stress load. We all know that when you have children that are school aged things can get hectic.
Some schools are great at sending out important information and some are not. When you have multiple kids, like us, it can be very easy to miss something even if they do send it out. So, I find myself compiling a to do list each year and I wanted to put that in a post. Hopefully it will help another family prepare for back to school and ease the stress of missing something important.
Check the School Website
Yes, most schools send information out, but it can be easy to miss something. We have multiple kids in school and at different schools. So, I make sure that I go directly to their websites for a few things:
- The School Calendar. Print it out, bookmark it, or save it for easy access. You will need it and it will make your life much easier.
- Open House Dates. Be sure to mark these dates on your calendar so that your child can get to know their new classroom and teacher.
- Supply Lists. Most schools have them already posted on their website and it is easier to just go grab it early.
- Bus Information. Do you need to fill out a form or look at bus schedules to make the decision. Most times, this information is on the website.
- Lunch Information. There is usually a page that outlines the lunch costs, forms for reduced cost lunch, menus, and so on.
- Dress Code or Uniform Code. Make sure you know what your child can and cannot wear. Nothing worse than spending money on something they can’t wear.
- Forms. Usually, all the forms that you may need are posted on the website. Medication forms, health assessment forms, technology forms, athletic forms, and other forms that you may need to complete for your child.
- PTO Information. If you want to get involved with your child’s school, you can find the PTO information on the website.
Back to School Shopping
Back to school shopping can be super fun, stressful, and expensive all at the same time. Our older kids tend to like shopping a lot more than the littles. So, I go about this in various ways. Sometimes I include them and sometimes I don’t. It all depends on the kid.
Make yourself a list. First, do yourself a favor and make a list. List out all the supplies, clothes, accessories, and shoes that your child needs. Of course, you will find things that are not on the list, and it doesn’t have to be super specific. You just need a general idea of what you are looking for before you go shopping.
Print out the school supply list or save it on your phone. Make sure you have your school supply list handy. That way you won’t forget anything and have to go back out for another shopping trip. Or maybe you just like shopping?
Compare your top items from multiple stores. Why not try to save a little money? Be sure to compare online sites, read the weekly sale flyers, and so on in order to buy at the right time and/or place. Backpacks, shoes, and supplies can be super expensive!
Prepare for the “New” Routine
Now is the best time to start thinking about the daily routine when school starts. Be sure to check out my post on creating more “good” mornings in your house to help you out on your morning routine. In general, the change of starting school can wreak havoc on the entire house. I know it does in ours. So, I try to reduce that stress as much as possible.
Start aligning bedtime to the school schedule, little by little. I like to slowly ease our kids back into an early bedtime by moving it up a little each night. In summer, they tend to stay up a bit later and if you don’t ease them back into the normal bedtime, they will be tired and cranky those first few weeks of school.
Readjust their eating schedule. I am not sure about your household, but ours literally goes nuts with snacks in the summer. We also eat each meal a little later because we wake up later. It really helps if you look at your child’s school lunchtime and start to adjust your mealtimes to align. They won’t be able to snack all day at school. Also, if you are packing lunch, start transitioning back to those foods that they will be able to pack.
Think about having a home for all the “stuff”, aka a drop zone. When school is in, we create a dedicated place for the bookbags, coats, shoes, and all the things that normally get thrown in the middle of the floor. If you create that space now, they will know where to drop their bookbags, shoes, and coats each day. It helps a TON, and they know where to find it all in the morning.
Talk About Safety
It’s a great time to begin reminder conversations about safety. Think about the following items and how you will remind your kids to stay safe.
- Washing Hands Properly. This will help keep the germs away.
- Talking to Strangers. Remind your kids who they should and should not talk to.
- The Schools Emergency Response. Know what your child’s school does in the case of an emergency. It could be a threat or weather related.
- Harassment and Bullying. Unfortunately, this is a big one. Be sure to talk to them about this in some way.
- Mental Health. Another big one and not an easy one. Many things can feel overwhelming during this transition.
- Emergency Information. If your child is old enough, be sure to go over your phone number and address.
I know, this is a lot to think about. I do think it is better to think about all of it early, rather than the week of school though. Preparing for back to school early can really help you reduce stress and help your children ease back into things. This can be a super busy and overwhelming time for you all.
-Kristy M., Mommy to Many