Friday, August 27, 2010

How to Prepare for Back to School

This is a post written by Teaching Resource Center originally for 3 Boys and a Dog. I thought this was an excellent & appropriate article for this site so here it is:


Bus 
Heading back to school is exciting for both kids and parents. However, shifting back into the routines of the school year can quickly lead to your entire family feeling overwhelmed. Here’s a fun acrostic poem with helpful suggestions to help your family prepare for the new school year.

1.  Be Consistent – Summer isn’t over yet, but it’s time to enforce regular routines, like completing chores and regular times for going to bed and getting up in the morning. Helping them be consistent now will only help their transition into the new school year.

2.  Avoid Over-commitment – September is usually the month that other commitments in our lives, like sports or church activities, begin in addition to the start of a new school year. To help everyone in your family get the rest they need during this busy month, keep extra-curricular activities to a minimum whenever possible.

3.  Coordinate Down Time – During the first few weeks of school, your whole family is going to feel tired and probably overwhelmed. Provide down time in the afternoons or evenings, eating dinner together and talking about the day’s events. This will help everyone transition into the busy schedule of the new school year and get the rest they need.

4.  Keep a calendar – Choose a large calendar that takes up a good part of a kitchen wall. Hang it in an accessible place, and take time now to mark down important school dates. School calendars can usually be found on your school district’s website.

5.  Take a Fieldtrip – There’s always some anxiety for kids as a new school year approaches. They may wonder about their teacher and if they’ll like him/her. Take away the mystery and apprehension by visiting your kids’ school the week before, especially if you have younger kids or if your children are new to the school.
6.  Observe Early Bedtimes – During the week or two before school starts, enforce a regularly scheduled bedtime. Grab window shades or blankets to block out all of the evening summer fun or provide eye masks for your kids that can be picked up for about a dollar at your local craft or fabric store.

7.  Stock Up on Healthy Snacks – These snacks need to be easy to transport and good for your kids. Stock up on granola bars, fruit leather and other dried fruit, string cheese and portable yogurt that are easy to pack in school lunches.

8.  Challenge Kids to Get Up – Don’t wait until the first day of school to start getting kids up early in the morning. It’s tempting to sleep in those last precious summer days, but your kids will be better prepared for the beginning of the school year if you all practice now.

9.  Hunt for School Supply Bargains – Look around your house to see if you already have some of the school supplies on your child’s list. Before heading out to buy supplies, peruse store ads and manufacturer coupons found in the Sunday paper. Write down the best deals you see on the school supply list, noting the name of the store and the prices of the items on your list.

10.  Order Your Kids to Get Out School Clothes – This is a great time of year to have your child take inventory of their clothes, finding out what still fits and giving away what they’ve outgrown. Restock basics, like underwear, socks and shoes before school starts.

11.  Organize Routines – As the summer fades into fall, set up routines that will ease everyone into the first week of school. When will chores need to be done? When will lunches be made and homework finished? Where should backpacks be put when kids come home from school? Talk with your kids about these decisions and get their input, then have them get into the habit of these routines before school starts.

12.  Laugh maniacally as the school bus drives away the first day!


Kelly Wilson is a mom and an expert on saving money. Kelly writes for Teaching Resource Center, a Teacher Store specializing in low-cost, high-quality Teaching Materials.   You may contact Kelly at:  Kelly.wilson@trcabc.com

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