Back-To-School Essentials

Posted by Meagan Ledendecker on 8/26/2019 7:00:00 AM

And just like that, summer is drawing to a close. School is right around the corner, and we’re here to give you some tips and tricks to get the kids (and yourselves) ready!

 Toddlers and parents

Soak up every last drop of summer

Go stargazing. Take a long bike ride. Eat just one more s’more. Find as many ways as you can to enjoy every moment you have left of summer together. Is there anything you talked about doing that you hadn’t gotten around to yet? Do the kids have any fun requests that you can manage before the school year begins? Think day trips, lazy days together at home, projects you want to finish, or even some more leisurely trips to the library. Think about what makes everyone feel happy and content, then do some more of it.

 

Gather Supplies

Now is a great time to start gathering school supplies if you haven’t already started. Think beyond traditional classroom supplies. What will your children need? Do they have a lunchbox that is in good working order? Afterschool snack containers? A water bottle for school and one for to and from school? Indoor shoes that fit? Will your child be napping at school? What else might they need to start the year off right?

 

Start to Adjust Bedtimes

Between longer periods of sunlight and looser schedules, staying up late often becomes the norm during summer months. While this works out just fine for that particular part of the year, it doesn’t work well when it’s time to wake up and get to school on time. The first thing you may want to do is revisit how much sleep your child should be getting.

To make sure your child is sleep-ready for school, consider what time they will need to go to bed on an ideal school night, then start slowly inching bedtime back each day from now until the start of school.

Here are some more tips to get back on track with ease:

  1. Allow 2-3 weeks for the transition
  2. Keep things calm for an hour before bedtime
  3. Slowly shift bedtime earlier by 5-15 minutes each night
  4. Keep a consistent routine (example: pjs, brush teeth, story, lights out)
  5. Expect bumps along the road - it’s okay!

 

Prepare for Lunch Prep

Even young children can be part of the lunch making process. Involve your child in the planning process as much as possible and even work together to prepare containers with prepped food your child can select for lunches. When school does start, it can be helpful to make lunches the night before, and your children can help! Older children can begin making their own lunches each day.

 

Inventory Clothing

Kids have a funny habit of growing all the time. The transition between summer and autumn is the perfect opportunity to check and make sure they have enough of the right clothing. Has your child grown a size over the summer? Is the changing weather a factor?

One great way to stay ahead of kids’ clothing needs is to share with others. Because children grow so fast they only wear items for a short period of time. It makes sense to pass outgrown clothing along to siblings or another family who could use it. Hopefully you can find a family who is willing to do the same for you. By sharing hand-me-downs, we can save time and money. As a bonus, sharing clothing is also a great environmental choice!

 

Keep Reading

Reading to our children every day is so important. Hopefully you’ve been able to enjoy lots of story time all summer long. Don’t let the rush of a new school year end the fun! Aim for at least 20-30 minutes each day. Bedtime tends to be a natural fit, but reading anytime is beneficial. Infants, preschoolers, new readers, and even older children enjoy read aloud time. Hearing you read sets an example for them regarding the importance of books and literacy, and your voice serves as a great model for oral fluency. Use dramatic expression, create silly voices for characters, and have fun!

 

Set Goals

Everyone in the family can get on board with this step. Parents: what are your goals? Do you want to find ways to not feel so rushed getting out the door in the morning? Do you want to try out some new meal prep ideas to make the week run more smoothly? Think about what you hope for and break it down into small, measurable, steps.

Talk with your kids about the hopes and dreams for the upcoming school year. What are some things they hope to learn about or accomplish? This might include specific academic skills, but it might also include social goals or even play-based fun. Does your child want to learn how to write in cursive? Get the ball through the basketball hoop? Make some new friends? Learn more about frogs? It can be fun to draw a picture of any goals and write (or have you scribe) what your child hopes to do. Tuck the paper away in a drawer and take it out again at some point during the year. It can be fun for children to reflect on their own growth!

Also remember that you can collaborate with your child about ways you can support each other with your goals. 

Begin talking with your child about the upcoming school year and remember to get excited! Transitions can be hard for children, but it’s always easier when they’re enthusiastic about what’s to come. A new school year brings the promise of fun learning, friendships, and experiences. That’s something we can all look forward to.

Lastly, if there is any information you need from us before the start of the school year, please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask. We are looking forward to seeing you and your children and starting off another great year!