"Each year, 1 million students fail to graduate high school. This scary statistic, proves it is increasingly important to support today’s youth."
I can't believe that in 10 short days, summer will officially be over, and the kids will be returning back to school. Where did the summer go? I don't know about you, but the summer months seem to get shorter and shorter to me. Just the other day I was talking with husband about how we opened the pool in early June and used it almost every day. But, come the end of July, the cold weather set in here in New England, making the pool water temperatures drop to around 68 degrees -- not really warm enough for us adults to really enjoy taking a dip. Because of the cooler water temperatures and weather overall, the pool has remained empty these past few weeks. As we are gearing up to send our niece and nephew off to school this year, we are also in our own way saying good-bye to summer, by putting away the summer lawn furniture, prepping to close the pool, and dear I say it, pulling out the fall clothing to be washed and switched out with the summer clothes.
One hurdle of back-to-school preparations is already behind us -- the back to school clothes and school supplies shopping. :-) Now, to get the kids back on a routine, which includes going to bed early, getting them up early with enough time to shower, dress, eat a wholesome breakfast, with time left over to walk (and not have to rush) to the bus stop. Easier said than done. Growing up, this was one thing I dreaded at the end of the summer, as I had broken out of the old school routine of in bed by 8:30PM-9:00PM and up by 6:30AM, and enjoyed going to bed late and sleeping in until close to noon. And, now that we have my niece and nephew living with us, I see that their routine has been thrown off, as, they, too are night owls and hate to get up early. So, I started this past weekend trying to get them into a bedtime routine, of off to bed by 9PM, and getting them up at 7AM. Yesterday was the firs day, and boy was it tough. When they woke up, they were real grouches, and ended up lounging on the couch for the better part of the AM. After talking with other moms, I was given some great advice for getting kids back into a routine, just in time for the school year, that I thought I would pass along:
1. If your child will be attending a new school, request a tour a few weeks before school starts so that they can walk the halls and get themselves familiarized with the place. This will ease anxieties they will feel come the first day of school.
2. If your children are picky eaters and bring a lunch to school, sit down with them a couple weeks before school starts to plan out a weekly meal plan. That way you can start shopping for snacks and meal planning ingredients.
3. Get into a bedtime/wake up routine, but having the kids go to bed 15-30 minutes earlier each even (at least 3 weeks before school starts). And, slowly work at waking them up on time for school. Some kids need to be eased back into their sleep routines, or they will just fight and resist you come the first few weeks of school, making it hard on everyone.
4. Have the kids prep their backpacks at least 1 week before school. If you have noticed you bought extra school supplies, why not reach out to organizations like the Boys and Girls Clubs of America to see if they need supplies for their "Back to School School Supplies Drive" benefiting local clubs in need of school supplies.
5. Make sure all summer reading and book reports are done at least 2 weeks before school starts.
6. Schedule back to school physicals and sports wellness exams at least 3-4 weeks before school starts. The last thing you want to have to do is run around getting last minute immunizations for school.
7. Create a family schedule -- With parents and children busy come the school year, why not sit down and create a calendar so everyone is on the same page when it comes to after school activities, club meet ups, etc. The last thing you want to do as a parent is spread yourself thing, and get burnt out trying to get all the kids to and from their activities, and back home in time to make dinner. Family time management is key to keeping everyone organized and schedules easier to keep. You can also use this schedule to plan your child's school day routines -- by penciling in time for homework, TV time/outdoor play, bath, etc.
8. If you have children who are dreading returning back to school, try talking up the positives like seeing old friends, or even making new friends, learning new things, etc.
9. For Parents: Update your child's school emergency contacts, as well as health information, making sure new allergies are noted, cell phone numbers and alternative contacts are accounted for, etc.
10. And, the night before school, have kids lay out their clothes, have the backpacks waiting by the door, so that when they get, the first day of school and days thereafter run smoothly, without kids and parents running around trying to find missing shoes, lost homework or school textbooks, etc. Try to keep up this "get ready for school the night before" policy, to keep kids accountability and to keep them on schedule each morning.
These are just some of the tips other moms have shared with me, as we prep the kids and ourselves for the start of the new school year. In addition to these tips, you can visit the Boys and Girls Clubs of America - www.greatfutures.org/backtoschool, to find a plethora of educational content for parents as you prepare to send your children back to school!
You can even learn about the different partnerships and initiatives BGCA has with others, including their online school supply drive. "This Back-to-School season, BGCA and long-time partner Disney have launched an online supply drive. By simply playing a pop-quiz style game, you can help donate school supplies to local BGCA Clubs. For every five correct answers, a donation of supplies will be made! To learn more about this initiative and to the play, head on over to www.greatfutures.org/backtoschool."
Do you have any helpful tips that make the transition back to school a little easier? Please leave your tips in the comments section below, so that I and other parents can try them out. :-)
Disclosure: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Boys & Girls Clubs of America. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.