Before you know it this summer will be a distant memory and your kids will already be back to school. Will you and the family be ready? There are so many items to check off the list for everyone. We have put together these top tips to help transition you and your kids to this time of year.
Adjust to the new routine
Easing into the new school year schedule and be challenging. into the school-year schedule. Getting back into the school routine can be a challenge for everyone in the family. To make the adjustment easier, start early.
• A few weeks before school starts, move bedtime back to an earlier time.
• Put a positive spin on going back to school. Talk about the fun things your child will learn, the old friends he’ll see and the new friends he’ll make.
• If your child is anxious about starting the next grade, reassure her that other children have these feelings too.
• Establish school-day schedules for homework, TV, baths, and bedtime.
• Arrange play dates with friends from school to re-establish connections that may have been dropped for the summer, or to create new ones.
Take advantage of the slower pace during your time away from school to set up for the busy school year ahead.
• Many schools send out school information and a packet of forms to fill out before school starts. If you can discipline yourself to fill out the paperwork several days before it’s due, you’ll avoid a last-minute panic.
• Have the necessary immunization records available for easy reference.
• Update school emergency contact and health information for the coming year.
• As you read through all the school information, mark important dates (such as back-to-school night, parent-teacher conferences, and school holidays) on the family calendar.
• Start a folder for school newsletters and other papers so that you can easily find and refer to them if necessary.
• Establish a “get ready the night before” policy. Pick clothes for the next day and pack the backpack every evening before bedtime, and you’ll save precious time in the morning.
Arrange for transportation
Everyone will feel better if transportation to and from school is addressed well before the start of the school year, particularly if your child is walking, riding their bike, or taking the bus.
Walking or biking
• Chart out a route to school or to the school bus stop.
• If your child is going to a new school, take a dry run a few days before school starts.
• Go over the rules of stranger awareness and traffic safety. Warn your child to always walk with a friend, and to avoid vacant lots and places where there are not a lot of people.
• Be sure your child has your daytime phone number (including area code) and address, as well as the number of another familiar adult.
• Scout out safe houses in the neighborhood where your child can go in case of an emergency.
Taking the bus
• Remember to get the new bus schedule!
• If your child will be taking the bus for the first time, discuss the bus route and bus safety rules with her.
• If you will be driving your child, have a backup arrangement with another parent in case you are delayed for some reason.
• Confirm carpool arrangements in advance and make sure your child knows who will be picking him up before and after school.
• Become familiar with your school’s traffic safety rules, drop-off and pick-up procedures.
Confirm after-school care arrangements
Most after-school care arrangements must be made months ahead, frequently in the winter or spring before your child starts school. As the school year approaches, however, it’s a good idea to confirm your plans.
• Make sure your child knows where he is going after school.
• Double-check on your care plans and communicate with the provider a few days before school starts.
• If your child will be home alone after school, establish safety rules for locking doors and windows, and for answering the door and the telephone. Make sure she knows to check in with you or another adult when she/he arrives at home.
Do you have any tips you would love to share? We would love to hear them!