Make Separate To Do Lists for Each Child
List A: School Supplies-Including bookbags and lunchboxes
List B: Clothing-If your child has to wear a uniform make sure you have a complete list from the school of everything they need such as the color of socks, the type of shoes, shirts, rompers, pants, gym uniforms, etc. If they do wear a uniform call the Uniform Supplier at least 2 weeks ahead to make sure everything is in stock.
List C: Forms-Some schools may require medical forms make sure you have your child’s medical records available. Also have your emergency contacts ready by ensuring you have correct numbers, emails, and addresses.
List D: Finances- If you have any deposits or tuition payments try to square that away well in advance of the first day of school. If you are getting tuition deducted automatically confirm that the correct amount is being taken out. If there are expenses that you know that are coming up take note of these so you can prepare for them.
With the start of the new school year comes the beginning of extracurricular activities. My daughter actually starts ballet a day before her first day of school. Make sure that you purchase any specific gear they need a couple weeks beforehand so that you can avoid last minute running around.
Having your house organized to a degree that will make your mornings easier will be a life saver and save you from being a grump. Here are a few suggestions:
- Keep It, Give it Away, or Throw it Away- Take some time before school shopping to have your kids try on clothes and shoes that they normally wear to school. Then decide if you are going to keep it, give it away, or throw it away.
- Laundry- Have uniforms and clothes washed, ironed and ready to wear for the first week will help you feel like your one step ahead.
- Labeling-Label clothes, lunchboxes and school supplies as soon as you get them
- A Space for Stuff-Give your kids a designated area if they don’t already have one to put bookbags, shoes, etc.
- Grocery Shopping-Try to get to the grocery store and plan in advance the lunches you’ll be making a week before. Get all zip lock baggies, plastic containers, etc. that you’ll need to make lunch.
Save the Dates!
I sometimes find it difficult keeping track of all that goes on with one kid, so I can only imagine if you have a couple kids how scheduling can get hectic. Do yourself a favor and jot down the dates in your calendar whether that is on your phone or in an organizer and if you have a family calendar make sure you update it every month. Many schools have their schedule out for the whole year, take a minute and put them in your calendar. Here are some things you may find schedule worthy:
- Teacher Meetings
- Breaks and Holidays
- School Pictures
- PTA Meetings
- Events for parents and grandparents
- School Events like field day, parades or class parties
- Extracurricular Activities
If you share weekends or weeks with your child’s father make sure you communicate and share a calendar also keep your kid in the loop they like to know what’s going on.
If you are doing a car pool confirm the schedule, pick up times and drop offs. Be clear on the arrangements and have a back up plan in place. I suggest doing this a few weeks before school begins in case any unexpected changes occur.
If your kids have any homework over the summer this is the time to make sure that it is getting finished. You may also want to help them sharpen up their skills before they go back. A quick review of the basics will go a long way.
The laid back days of summer may have meant being laid back on bedtime. For the sake of yourself and your kids, start gradually getting back into the school routine 2 weeks before the first day. This goes for you too!
Have a Family Meeting
This doesn’t have to be anything formal or long and drawn out. The idea is talk about the upcoming year. If there are changes to your schedule and your child will be in aftercare an hour longer those are things you want to communicate. This is also a good time to discuss bed time, homework, and just anything that’s on their mind. You’d be surprised how nervous kids get about a new school year and talking about what’s on their mind can help alleviate some of that anxiety. Make the meeting fun, maybe have pizza for dinner or go out to a diner and get a yummy treat afterward.
The more prepared you are the easier it is for everyone! Lastly enjoy the remaining lazy days of summer with your kids!