Things don’t only change for children once the summer ends and school starts up again – they change for parents as well. Whether your child is going into the first grade or the eleventh, there will be a total shift in lifestyle from August until school lets out for the summer again.
In order to make this school year run more smoothly from home, here are a few things you can do before the first day of class:
- Sync Your Schedules
School schedules differ greatly from your normal weekday, especially if your children go to different schools and/or take on extracurricular activities. You can usually find your respective school’s calendar before the year begins, so take a look at that to see when school is closing early, what holidays are observed, and when breaks begin and end—that way you won’t be surprised when a “weather day” pops up on a random Thursday.
- Pick a Prep Day
There are many things a student needs every single day of the school year, like lunch or daily outfits. By picking one day per week to prepare all of these needs in advance, you can avoid having to deal with them during already busy mornings. For example, prepping your child’s lunches on a Sunday night to ensure they make it through Friday gives you time back at the end of each weekday, cuts down on the number of things you have to do each morning, and reassures you that they eat a healthy, balanced meal each day.
- Stock Up on Supplies
It’s never good when your child runs out of school supplies in the middle of a school day. Also, it can be burdensome to make repeat trips to the store for more pencils, pens and paper. To cut back on the likeliness of either, stock up on supplies while it is still back-to-school season. Supplies are usually cheaper during this time, so grab enough to last you until the end of the year and store them out of sight. Once your child decides they are running low, they can restock much easier. (No excuse for not having a pencil on test day!)
- Set Rules and Restrictions
Leisurely activities are usually not the same during the school year as they were during the summer. Over the break, students often times have later curfews, spend more time in front of the television, or don’t read as much. However, once school is back in session, it’s important to let your child know what changes are being made.
- Review School Codes
Every school has a different set of rules, from dress code to their attendance policy to holiday schedule. Reviewing these rules ahead of time prevents you from buying clothes that may be deemed inappropriate, understand how many sick days your child is allotted, and on which days the school is closed, among various other things.
- Talk Seriously About Expectations
School is important, and you know your child knows this. Still, it’s important to reinforce what you expect from them with the upcoming school year. From grades to behavior, letting your child know what is expected from them establishes a standard, and motivates them to work towards maintaining that standard.
- Explore Extracurriculars
Many students, especially high schoolers, participate in after-school activities throughout the year. Before sign-up day comes, ask your child which extracurricular activities they would be interested in, and plan around that. Do they want to play football this year? Plan to set aside time on Fridays to make sure you don’t miss a game. Whatever your student has an interest in, you can generalize how involved you may end up being before the time comes.
Remember to encourage your child throughout the school year. For each test they take to every grade, constantly reminding them that you are proud of their efforts and their success can go a long way.
Small preparations made at the beginning of the school year can make a large impact once that first bell rings. By utilizing these tips (some consistently until the end of the school year), you can sail through the roughest parts of every school year.