Making the transition to school can be quite a change for kids, but it can also be a challenge for new-to-school parents, too!
It’s definitely an adjustment for families, but with each passing year you’ll learn new tricks. Until then, here are some to get you started:
Keep It Simple
It’s easy to get caught up in the back-to-school hoopla. From early August, stores shelves are lined with backpacks, pencils, notebooks, math kits, markers… the list goes on and on. It’s hard to know exactly what it is that your child will need. Just repeat: keep it simple. Most teachers will send home a list of required school supplies during the first week of school, so wait on some things. Send your child to school with a backpack and lunch kit on the first day and teachers will let you know what else they need.
During school, weekdays tend to be chaos, so staying organized is important. Keep bins handy to contain hats and gloves so mornings aren’t completely bonkers, and have a tray for permission forms and school newsletters so they’re easily accessible. Keep pencils and a sharpener near the homework area so you aren’t searching. Many families rely heavily on family calendar apps, because they help everyone stay on top of what is going on. Find a system that works for your family early, and stick to it.
The last thing you’ll want to do after a busy day at work is pack lunches. But as hard as it may seem, doing as much as possible the night before is always best. Pack lunches and leave them in the fridge. Make sure books and homework are in school bags and have your child choose tomorrow’s outfit before bed, because the less you all have to worry about in the morning, the better. Plan your weekly dinner menus every weekend. It will not only help when grocery shopping, but it eliminates the nightly “what’s for dinner” debate.
The key to making the school year run smoothly is routine. Find the system that works for your family and stick to it. The most important advice new-to-school parents can get is this: have fun! The more your kids see you enjoying their time at school the more fun they will have, too.
Written by: Natalie Romero, YMC.ca