Put the pitchforks away, I waited until we were into August before mentioning ‘the end of summer as we know it’.
The days are still long and gorgeous, but each day brings us closer to the inevitable, and little steps now can help your child easily transition into the routine and structure that comes during the grade school year.
Get Yourself Ready
The sooner you can slowly begin getting what you need for back to school, the better it is on everyone. Kids know when you are under pressure and they feel it too. Don’t associate the beginning of a new year with an anxiety-filled, last-minute shopping frenzy. Preparing ahead takes stress off you to enjoy your last days of summer and ease into your new routines.
School Supplies and Clothes
We all know that shopping is easier without kids in tow, but don’t leave them out completely. Including your child on some decisions (like picking out a new favourite shirt, or choosing their backpack) can get them excited for their new school year because they played a part in the preparations.
Invite Friends Over to Play
If your kids have been busy with vacation, family visiting, and just enjoying the summer — invite some school friends over to reconnect and play. This will remind your kids what playing with their friends at school was like, and they will have a familiar face to look for on their first day back at school.
Play on the School Grounds
If there is a playground on the property, head out to play for awhile. Hanging out on the school grounds will bring back memories of the previous school year and you can ask questions and talk about their last year of school and about their new year.
If there are no play structures, take a walk and have a picnic.
Communicate and Reminisce
Review highlights of their previous school year and ask your child what they are looking forward to. If they can’t think of anything, tell them stories of back to school when you were young.
Create Routines Early
During the summer it is easy to exchange routines for lazy days filled with fun in the sun. About one week before school begins, try to get everyone to bed and up by a certain time so that when the new year starts, kids aren’t tired and out of sorts. Make sure everything gets back on track. Follow a bed time routine, make sure teeth are brushed, rooms are tidied, and books are read before bed — and breakfast is eaten (before noon), and kids are dressed (before noon) so that everyone can get used to the approaching schedule changes.
What tips do you have for back to school?