August is here, and I can no longer turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the back to school commercials. School is just around the corner whether I like it or not. August means I am in the last inning of summer. And given how fast time flies when I want to have fun, I need to get my house in order before I wake up and find myself facing the first day of school woefully unprepared. Therefore I have compiled a list of what needs to be done to get my kids back to school.
1. Call the Doctor
August always means a rush on doctor appointments as parents wake up and smell the chalk. Don’t run out of time. If you didn’t follow my lead at the beginning of summer, get on the horn and schedule appointments with your child’s doctor, dentist and optometrist so you will be in full compliance with school requirements.
2. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Shop
August is a great time to sort through your kids’ closets and weed out the too small or rarely used items to make room for fall school fashion. Get your kids actively involved. Have them try on clothes, creating bags for donation and other bags to hand down to someone. If your kids don’t have any viable younger siblings, maybe there is a cousin or a family friend that would benefit from and appreciate a bag of clothing options.
3. Know the Code
Check the school dress code. If you don’t know it you won’t be able to support. Likewise, if the code is confusing to you ask questions of the school now. Get clarity for both you and your child so when you go shopping you aren’t wasting your money on something that will just land your child in detention. On top of school regulations you might consider generating a written dress code for your household. Draft your guidelines so that your child will understand the parameters within which they are expected to operate. This will hopefully cut down on any outfit arguments in the morning…hopefully. Be clear about the consequences in the face of an infraction. Don’t leave any of it up for debate.
4. Back to School Supplies
Retrieve or download the school supply list. Take time to compare prices and plan your school supply hunt. Get your kids involved. Help them take ownership of their school responsibilities. It’s their job, not their punishment.
5. Get a Heads Up
The unknown can be pretty scary for kids and parents. Don’t go into a new school year blind. If you don’t have the benefit of an older child’s legacy to inform you about what to expect in the coming school year, reach out to another parent. Ask someone with a child in the grade above yours what their experience was last year. Inquire about the homework and projects they faced. Get a heads up on what you have to look forward to. Get informed so you can be prepared.
6. A Refresher Course
Time for a refresher, particularly for math and foreign language. It is a good idea to have your children start reacquainting themselves with school lessons. Even ten minutes a day could turn a rocky transition into a smooth re-entry.
Summer doesn’t always mean a complete break from homework. Many schools assign summer reading that will be the basis of the first set of assignments when your kids head back to school. Double check on summer reading assignments and expectations. Make sure your kids have completed or are on their way to completing the assignments they are to have done for the first day of school.
8. Get Your Head in the Game
Back to school means back to practice. Be sure to look up athletic schedules, regulations, equipment and tryouts now so you won’t be caught off-guard.
9. Know Your Route
Plan out your route to school. Will your kids walk, ride their bikes, take the school bus, or the train? Even if you are their ride, practice the path with your kids. Acquaint them with the surroundings. You are never too young to know your neighborhood.
10. Dial Back Bedtime
Start thinking about bedtimes. You can’t just go from a relaxed bedtime schedule to a ridged one overnight and not expect repercussions. Use these last weeks to ease your child back into a more structured sleep schedule that will have them ready and able to function at peak capacity during the proverbial school day instead of operating as the summer vampires that they are now.
List written? Check! Tasks assigned? Double check! Thoughts organized? Triple check! I feel organized. Now I can get back to the business of making the most of the end of summer before sending my kids back to school! Next thing you know I will need to make a holiday list. AHHHHH! let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First things first, what’s on your back to school list? Better get to it before time runs out.