Are you ready to have the best back-to-school season ever? It can happen, we promise! We've compiled a 5-step guide designed to help every family make the most out of their summer and start the new school year with energy, focus, and joy!
Reestablish rules, boundaries, and routines NOW!
We're the first to admit, summer can make the strictest of households a little lax. Whether it's staying up way too late on the weekends, or sleeping in early on the weekdays, playing on our tablets for hours on end, or eating dessert every night, we all indulge in the summertime. And there's nothing wrong with that, especially during stressful and uncertain times. However, when back-to-school time comes around, these little lapses can add up to a huge adjustment and shock for our kids, which isn't fair to them or us.
In order to give your kids the best opportunity to start the new school year right, make a plan with them to slowly ease them back into a normal schedule. Now, nobody needs to be waking up at 6 a.m. or earlier right away! But you can make a week-by-week plan to transition into a school routine so that when the first day of school comes, your kids will already be up and focused on choosing their cool new outfit, not yawning and complaining.
Finish all summer assignments...and summer activities!
Hopefully your kids haven't been putting off any summer assignments until the last minute, but now is the time to make sure that all their summer assignments are completed in plenty of time for the new school year. If they have been procrastinating, better to catch it early while there is still time! Make sure you have a talk with your kids to establish a plan for next year, and remind them how stressful it is to leave assignments until they are due. Remember, once school starts, there's going to be getting a lot more work, so better to start strong than scrambling!
Also important to remember is that, as summertime ends, we need to enjoy every last moment of it! Make a list with the family of all the summertime activities they want to experience. Have plans been modified by recent events? Come up with a new plan to create lasting memories. Partner with friends and family to put together an unforgettable summer staycation! Use the money you might have been saving for a trip and instead Invest in things like a quality grill, new deck furniture, inflatable pools and water slides, or outdoor stereo systems. These things can be enjoyed beyond summer and for years to come.
Get your child’s school supplies in order.
We're all familiar with the list of school supplies our children receive every year. But you may not know that this list can simply be a starting point to creating a well-stocked classroom. If your budget can afford it, consider buying double or triple the amount of supplies on your child’s list. A pro-tip: skip the individually packaged items and check the internet for bulk size supplies intended for offices. It's a fact that many of your child's classmates may have a hard time purchasing supplies, and most teachers use their own funds to make sure their classrooms are adequately supplied and no one is left out. Anything you can do to help will be appreciated by everyone.
Another tip: don't wait until BTS time to get supplies. Keep an eye out for sales and specials throughout the year and make purchases when it's advantageous. You don't have to even store the supplies in your house; your child's teacher will be more than happy to keep them in the classroom or at home and use them as needed.
Want to go above and beyond? Teachers have to not only provide supplies, but often decorate and organize classrooms out of their own pockets as well. You can offer buckets, baskets, toy organizers, shelving, shoe racks, old books, blocks, and crafting supplies. All are welcome! Don't forget the tissues, hand sanitizer, garbage bags, paper towels, and cleaning solutions. It can get messy in the classroom!
Prep your family calendar for the whole year.
We've spoken before about the importance of a family calendar, and back-to-school time is the perfect reason to get yourself ready for the whole year. You'll usually be receiving a schedule of events around this time, and putting everything in your plans now saves remembering later. Also, doing this prep work will get your family ready for the coming seasons. Is there a party before winter break? What charity drives are going on in the spring? Are their late arrival/early dismissal dates in the future which may conflict with other commitments?
Planning ahead for future events will not only help you feel more in control, but it can help with your budgeting too. Is there a cupcake party in March and boxes of cake mix go on clearance in November? You'll know to stock up and hold onto those supplies until they're needed. Kids are going camping on the class trip in April? Start looking now for used supplies in good condition instead of buying all new at last minute. With foresight and planning, you can avoid major headaches and expenses down the line!
Create the perfect learning space.
Our kids may be spending more time than ever doing their learning at home. Now is the perfect time to collaborate with them to find the best space in the house to facilitate their studies, and set it up exactly how they would like it. If you have the space in your house, you can invest in a child size desk and bookshelf and decorate with a calendar, white board, clock, and organization for school and craft supplies. But there's no need to get so fancy. The important factor to remember is that the study space is dedicated to your child's education. If they're working with an afterschool program over the computer, make sure they have access to their handouts and a way to easily connect with their teacher via laptop or desktop. Keep the space free of clutter. If utilizing the family dining room table, make sure that the seat reserved for your child never becomes overwhelmed with dirty dishes, newspaper circulars, or groceries. When things are uncertain, our children need a sense of stability and ownership. Their education should not feel like an inconvenience or an afterthought.
So, do you feel prepared for the school year? Need some extra help? Best Brains is here for you. From child-friendly content on YouTube, to free weekly workbooks, to live tutoring sessions with board-certified teachers, Best Brains can help your family to Be Your Best! Click here to learn more.