The long, hot, lazy days of summer are rapidly coming to an end as schools are gearing up to be back in session. This can be a very stressful time for children and parents. 1-800-Charity Cars, a vehicle donation/distribution program that services the entire United States, would like to offer you the following list of 10 Back to School Tips for Parents:
- Get Bedtime Back on Track- Try not to wait until the night before the first day of school to enforce school night bedtimes. To make things easier on the kids, and yourself, start enforcing school night bedtimes at least a week prior to the start of the first day of school.
- Have Lists in Hand- When you head out to do your back to school shopping, make sure you have your lists in hand. Make a list of what your kids need when it comes to clothing, shoes, and school supplies. Having this list with you while shopping will make sure everyone gets what they need and you do not have to make repeat trips.
- Grab Some Folders for Yourself to Gather Documents- When you are shopping for school supplies, pick up some folders so each child has one for their documents for school. Write each child’s name on a folder. Place their immunization, dental, eye, ear, and any medical/medications forms they may need for school inside their folder. This will ensure you have everything you need for the start of school for each child in one place.
- Visit the School- Most schools will offer students a “Sneak A Peek” or “Meet And Greet” a few days before school starts. Be sure to take your kids so they can meet their teachers and learn their way around. This will set your child at ease about the first day since they have already gotten familiar with everything. You can also drop off documents or medications, fill out applications for free/reduced lunches, find their bus route, and much more. These simple steps will save you time and frustration by getting everything taken care of before the first day.
- Create a Homework Area- Set up a designated area in your home with a small desk or table for homework. Be sure to have whatever supplies your child may need to complete homework readily available. Gather and organize materials such as pens, pencils, crayons, scissors, glue sticks etc. This will make your kids more apt to want to do their homework with less of a fuss. Be sure to have a basket for any notes received from the school regarding field trips, library books, or anything else that you need to remember. Having a location for these reminders will help you and your children stay organized and ensure that you don’t forget something important.
- Clean Out the Closets and Drawers- Be sure to clean out the kids’ closets and drawers before school starts. Get rid of items that they have outgrown by donating them to any reputable charity that accepts clothing donations. Remove clothes that they can still wear, but are not school worthy, from their dresser. Put them in a place that is designated for “play clothes” and ensure that they are kept separate from school clothes. This will ensure that you don’t have to worry about your kids going through the “this doesn’t fit,” or “this has a stain,” or “this has a hole” struggle when they are getting ready for school.
- Motivate Your Kids by Making an Achievement Chart- Sometimes all it takes is a little creative motivation to get kids excited about anything! It can be as simple as a spiral notebook with their name on the front. You could also create a tree on poster board with branches that you add leaves to for all their achievements through the school year. You can even set up a reward system for certain goals or achievements.
- Talk About Their Concerns or Anxieties- Talk with your kids about whether they have any concerns, fears, or are feeling anxious. Speaking with them about these issues will provide you with an opportunity to address their concerns and prevent your child from unnecessary stress.
- Be Patient and Be Patient, Did I Say Be Patient?- Patience is a virtue…and you will need it. Be as patient as possible with your kids if they are a little slow to get going or doing what they need to get out the door. Be stern but don’t yell, and try to be prepared for a little meltdown or freak out so the situation does not escalate and you end up with a child who is totally out of sorts.
- Make a Grand Entrance on the Big Day- If you can be there for your kids on the first day of school, drive them in that morning and walk them to their class. Just giving that extra moral support and being there can make all the difference for a child, especially if it is a new school.
If you are looking for ideas to take advantage of the last few days of summer left, check out these creative ways to beat summer boredom.