5 Tips for a Smooth Back to School Transition
As department stores have started to usher out racks of shiny backpacks and discounts on pencils and crayons, parents everywhere are beginning to realize it will soon be the start of back to school. Just like that, the summer months have flown by, and you are ready to start preparing your family for a return to the classroom and long school days. Starting a new school year is always daunting: whether you’re a parent with a kid who’s attending school for the first time or a family with kids who are used to heading back to the classroom. Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned veteran, today we are sharing 5 tips for a smooth back to school transition.
Tip 1: Set a Schedule
One of the best ways to ease your family into a school routine is to set a schedule in advance. Your family’s daily and weekly schedule will be completely changed once the school year starts. Not only will your kids be back in school for most of the day, but after-school extracurriculars will return, school deadlines expand as the semester continues, and your kids will also need to budget time for homework, activities with friends, and sleep.
By sitting down with your kids and mapping out a daily or weekly family school routine, you can help them (and yourself!) stay on track and avoid feeling like you’re scrambling to get your kids out the door for school for the earlier wake up call or to soccer practice and playdates.
With older kids, you should involve them in the process of creating and setting the family schedule. Not only will they be able to be accountable for their own activities, but they’ll also be able to understand that time is limited, and it will teach them to prioritize their school time schedule wisely.
For younger kids, consider hanging up a visual schedule in a common area of your home to help them understand what their new routine will look like. You could also post calendars in frequently visited or seen areas like the family refrigerator or the laundry room. Make sure homework time or weekly chores are clearly scheduled out on the calendar, and explain to your little ones what each event will look like and what your expectations are.
One of the most essential parts of setting a schedule is creating a set bedtime. Your family’s transition will be a smoother transition when your kiddos aren’t cranky from lack of sleep! We know that nobody likes when a bedtime routine is introduced, especially after months of flexibility in the summertime. However, a good bedtime routine sets the cadence for returning back to school and back to early school mornings. Make sure you start enforcing a bedtime routine a few weeks before they return to school so the transition to earlier nights and mornings will be smoother.
Tip 2: Get Organized
One of the best ways to set yourself up for success is to get organized before the school year starts. This means everything from stocking up on supplies to creating a dedicated space for homework. We’re not telling you to go all Clea and Joanna from the Home Edit, but creating and maintaining a basic system of organization will be a lifesaver once the school year starts.
For example, when shopping for school supplies, start planning and shopping for supplies a few weeks before school starts, so you’re not scrambling at the last minute. Another perk of when you buy supplies ahead of time is being able to have a larger range of products available versus a few days before school when stores are bareboned.
Before heading to the store, print out their school supplies list and bring the physical copy to Staples or Walmart whenever you choose to buy their items. Once those items are bought, clearly label their new supplies with our School Labels pack and place all school supplies in a consolidated area so they won’t go missing.
For extra organization in your home, create a homework station. Find a place where your kids can access pencils, pens, or art supplies they may need for homework. Hang up a calendar with important due dates and deadlines, and ensure your kids are responsible for writing down important items or events on the schedule. Having a specific place for homework, art projects, and school papers will also help keep things tidy and make it easier to find what you need when you need it. It will also help your school aged kids stay organized which means keeping better track of upcoming deadlines and extracurricular activities like weekend sports.
Remember that color coding can be one of your best friends! Make each subject a designated color so your kids will easily remember which folder is for History, Science, English, etc. Lastly, after you’ve spent all this time starting off the school on an organized foot, make sure to maintain your cleanliness and stay organized throughout the whole year! You’ll thank yourself later!
Tip 3: Make Mornings Easier with a Capsule Wardrobe
Prepping your kids before school can be the biggest hassle. It’s safe to say those mornings with kids can open up opportunities for spilled drinks, forgotten homework, and several outfit changes. Especially when you’re hoping for a smooth transition into back to school, helping your child organize their closet and streamline their morning routine will be a lifesaver on busy mornings!
One of our big tips for back-to-school shopping is to create capsule wardrobes for your kids. The idea of a capsule wardrobe is to pick out basic and minimalistic pieces of clothing that will serve as the foundation for your closet and then choose a few fun accessories or items of clothing to personalize.
Not only is a capsule wardrobe easy to put together, but it makes choosing outfits and getting ready less stressful. To learn more about creating a kid’s wardrobe that is outfit-repeating friendly, check out our blog post here with all our tips and tricks. We also love the brand Miles and Milan. If you want to hear Michelle’s conversation with its founder, check out the From the Basement Up podcast episode here!
Tip 4: Stop Using Sharpies, Start Using Labels
One of the biggest pains of back-to-school season is whipping out the permanent marker and labeling 3729302 new items. From lunch containers to backpacks, pencil pouches, and gym shoes, our hands are already hurting from thinking about all those writing opportunities.
Skip the annual hand cramp and go the easy route with our personalized, waterproof, and laundry-proof labels. For the school year, we have School Value Packs that come with everything you’ll need to label your kid’s items for the classroom.
Tip 5: Savor These Memories and Make Time for Fun
Back-to-school season won’t last forever, and in a blink of an eye, your kids may be out of school, or you might not be as involved in their return to the classroom. Parents, enjoy these moments preparing your kids and have fun in the process!
To help you savor these memories and enjoy back to school with your children, we’ve created several free printables you can use on the first day of school to mark the occasion! It’s a simple but sweet tradition to keep every year and will create beautiful memories for your little ones!
Click here to download our Unicorn Printable!
Click here to download our Space Printable!
Click here to download our Triangle Printable!
We know that back-to-school season can be stressful, but one of the best ways to reduce stress and promote a positive outlook is to make time for fun. Whether it’s planning a family movie night or going on a nature hike, find ways to enjoy each other’s company and relax together as a family. Once a month, try scheduling a family game night or movie night. If the weather is nice in the fall, host a neighborhood picnic. No matter the event, prioritize time with your family and enjoy those special moments. Make sure to support everyone’s individual interests and remind kids that time with the whole family is important!
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