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Getting ready for Back-to-School time, the time of year most parents look forward to and kids don’t (well most don’t). This can be a stressful time for everyone. Make sure you take a few minutes everyday to have a good giggle. If you need help finding reasons to giggle come join Nitra’s Secret Treehouse and search for giggle time. You will find lots of reasons to giggle. When you are getting ready to send your kids back to school here are a few tips to help make it easier for you and them.
Hopefully your child has been reading so they don’t suffer from Summer Slide. If they have not been doing any reading over the summer find them some fun books to help them get back in practice. If you need some reading tips come join my VIP group Nitra’s Secret Treehouse.
Some kids are given a summer reading list of books to read before school starts. If you have not been working on this throughout the year try to get started as soon as possible. You don’t want your child stressing the last week before school because they have a whole pile to read. If your child is starting a new school try to take a tour of the school during registration. Help them to become familiar with the school, where their classroom(s) are and if possible meet teachers. If your child has any fears such as new school, new teacher, new grade (like moving elementary to middle school) find out what they are and talk about them and help them find ways to move past their fears. If they are still struggling let them know that is ok and you will be there to support them.
The dreaded school supply list, this can be even worse the more kids you have. Many school districts have their supply lists online so you can get them early. Watch for the back-to-school sales and stock up on common supplies when they go on sale. If you have a warehouse store like Costco’s around you consider shopping there. If you don’t need that much of something grab another mom friend. Go in together and split the supplies so you both get the deal. Be careful not to wait till the last minute though because it is possible for stores to run out of supplies.
Also a tip for next year is many stores have really good deals after the school year starts to help get rid of extra supplies. So look at what supplies you will need no matter what grade they are in and stock up when they are on sale. Don’t be afraid to splurge on one or two items like a really fun notebook or binder that your child really wants. This can help them with their excitement for the up coming year.
Clothing is another thing kids need/want for a new school year. Make sure you are checking the clearance racks for clearance summer items that would be great for school. Items that can be used for layering can often be found on the clearance racks. Perfectly good pants that might just be summer colors. Also many places now have consignment stores. You can find gently used items which can be easier on the wallet. Especially if you have a child who is hard on their clothing.
Don’t wait till the last week before school and don’t go overboard, but a little review can be a good thing. Maybe do a little review of what they learned the previous year just to help refresh their memory. Find some fun books to help them do some quick review. Just every few days for a few weeks before school starts. Concepts that maybe they struggled with. This helps make the beginning of the school year easier and they will feel more confident. Here is a list of some great resources to look at for end of summer review.
Ohh no the dreaded schedule change. Now you need to enforce a bedtime and wake up time. You have to make sure they are prepared for the day or activities. Start gradually working on this a couple weeks before hand. Especially if your child has been allowed to stay up till lets say 10 pm. All of a sudden having to be in bed by 8 will be difficult. So a couple weeks before make bedtime 9:30 then about half way through the week 9:00 then 8:30 and finally a few days before school starts 8:00. The smaller increments make it easier for your child’s body to adjust. The same goes for waking up, also when you start doing this work on their school year routine.
Have them get used to their morning routine and bedtime routine during this time. If you want them to set out their clothing and stuff the night before have them do it now. Especially for younger kids having a visual of their wake up and bedtime routine is very helpful. Also at night use the last 15-20 min before bed as quiet time. Talk about anything going on the next day, and read a book or have them read, or even journal writing. Make a review of the day during breakfast also part of your morning routine.
If your child will be walking or driving to school, have them practice with you following to help them build their confidence. Help them come up with plan B if needed, so if they miss the bus how will the get to school? This is especially important if your child will be responsible for getting themselves to school because you are at work.
Ok so I have talked about a lot of the normal things so here are a few other things to think about. Activities – many parents sign their kids up for EVERYTHING the kid wants to do. Problem is those activities take up a lot of time. You want to make sure your child has plenty of time to do their school work and relax. Children can get stressed just like you if they have too much going on. So help your child pick 1 maybe 2 activities they want to do and sign them up for those.
Homework time – have your child help you figure out when would be the best time to do their homework nightly. Will they do it as soon as they get home? Right after dinner? Maybe they get to have 30 min of down time when they get home before they have to do homework. Remember what works for one kid may not work for another. Where are they going to do their homework? The kitchen table? A desk/study area in the living room or their bed room? Figure that out and have them help you set it up with things they will need. Make it someplace they have plenty of light and a comfy seat. Limit distractions, so no tv or loud music. If your child wants to listen to music work with them on an appropriate playlist that they can play while doing their homework and studying.
Food prep – let your child help figure out what you will make them for lunch and/or have for breakfast (within reason of course). Then take them shopping with you, let them pick out certain items. The more involved you let them be the better your chances they will eat the food. If they are old enough to fix their own lunch let them do that the night before. You can let them have a say by creating a chart where they get to pick one item from each area for their lunch.
Biggest thing is to NOT wait till last minute to get your child back into a school schedule or start them on one if this is their first year going to school. The more your allow your child to be involved in preparations the more excited they will be. Don’t forget to have fun these last couple weeks before school starts.
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