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Make This School Year the Best!

If you’re struggling to get your kids back into the school schedule, you can help ease their transition and maybe even make it fun! Check out these tips!My son started school this week. When I asked him, the night before his first day, if he was excited, he looked right at me and said, “Not even a little bit. I wish summer lasted forever.” I, on the other hand, couldn’t be more excited to get back into a normal schedule and not hear “I’m bored!” 1,000 times a day.

As parents everywhere celebrate the start of school, kids might not be quite so excited. They might be nervous about new teachers and friends or feeling overwhelmed by all the changes to their routine, especially if it’s a major change like moving from preschool to kindergarten or elementary school to middle school. They might be feeling uncertain about learning new things and worrying that they won’t remember what they learned last year. Or they might be just plain unhappy about the end of summer.

If you’re struggling to get your kids back into the school schedule, you can help ease their transition and maybe even make it fun!

Create a back-to-school tradition.

Give your children something to look forward to after school starts. It might be a special shopping spree for new clothes or shoes or a special dinner out – kid’s choice! You could also throw a back-to-school party or barbecue. Heather Spohr, from The Spohrs are Multiplying, has some great tips on her blog for everything you need for a back-to-school party, including food, decorations, and favors.

Make sure they have the schedule straight.

Sometimes kids are most afraid of the unknown. Before school starts, make sure you have as much information as you can gather; the name of their teacher, pick up and drop off schedules, and their class schedule. After school starts, go over their schedule with them – when they have lunch, if they have snack, what days they have gym, etc. It also helps to talk about their extra curricular activities and how that will impact their schedule. Whenever possible, stick to the same schedule before and after school, so kids know when they have to do get on the bus, when they need to get homework done, etc.

Meet up with friends.

In the middle of vacations and summer camps, kids often lose touch with their school friends over the summer. Arrange a get together with the moms of your kids’ favorite school friends, and friends in their new class. This will help them keep in touch with old friends and get to know new friends better.

Get involved.

I’m really, really busy. Sometimes adding another thing to my schedule feels impossible, but I do make it a point to get involved at school as much as I can, even if it’s only a few times a year. I attend field trips, classroom parties, make copies for the teacher, etc. It’s fun to see my kids with their friends, and also allows me to get to know their teachers better.

Get organized.

I hate all the paperwork that gets sent home from school – I tend to lose things and my kids always want me to keep every single project they complete. Last year I finally committed to an organization system that worked much better. Each kid has a place on the counter (I just use one magazine holder like this one for each kid) and when they get home from school I organize all the paperwork. Things I want to save or that don’t need immediate attention go in their spot. Stuff that needs to be signed or dealt with more quickly go on my desk so they’re front and center. It’s simple and it might not work for everyone, but it works for me! I suggest finding your own system to take out some of the stress of losing paperwork and keeping track of all your to-dos. Our ebook, Are You Controlling Your Family’s Schedule, or Is It Controlling You? contains great tips and tools to help get organized, manage schedules, and enjoy family time together. 

Talk it out.

Most importantly, provide your children with a safe place to talk about their feelings. Encourage them to talk to you and assure them that you understand and that you’ll do everything you can to make the transition back to school as easy as possible. Talk about the important things like bullying, being kind to their friends, and having fun, but also highlight the fun parts of school – field trips, making new friends, and recess. If they’re still feeling anxious, arrange to talk to the school counselor or even a trusted teacher your child had in the past who may be able to set their mind at ease.

What do you do to help ease your family’s transition back to school?

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