The carefree days of summer are winding down. Back To School begins now and it’s an exciting time of the year. Hello teachers, hello books! For parents and kids alike, it’s time to look forward to a productive school year. To reduce stress all around, the key is getting organized. To help, the NJ Kids team has come up with top ideas for school readiness:
1. Start early. Establish bedtime routine a week or two before school starts.
2. Buy a reliable alarm clock, and get them used to waking up on their own. No snoozing or just 5 more minutes!
3. Organize clothes drawers. Take out those items that do not fit. Usually, half the clothes don’t fit after a summer growth spurt. Donate to others in need, to a younger child, or to an organization.
4. Have a designated desk or table just for homework. Organize the homework area equipped with pencils, pens, markers, glue, index cards, computer, and printer. Okay, this sounds like a home office, but it may make them take work seriously.
5. Organize the backpack. Make use of all its compartments. Pack heavier items closest to the center of the back. Go through the pack with your child weekly, and remove unneeded items to keep it light. The backpack should not weigh more than 10%-15% of a child’s weight.
6. Create an “organization station” in a convenient location by the entrance door. Get one basket for each child for belongings, books, hat, gloves, sport equipment, include hooks for backpacks and coats if possible.
7. Create a family calendar that tracks everyone’s activities and commitments. Include big assignments, tests, field trips, and sports games.
8. Print out class schedule and send with child for first few days
9. Eat a good breakfast so that one can concentrate in school. Make a list of favorite food items for breakfast, lunch and snacks. Go to the supermarket or big box stores to buy items in bulk, store in pantry or refrigerator.
10. Talk to them about their excitement and fears. Every child goes through this.
11. Get the kids involved in some of the decision making process. Forward school/club emails to older kids so they take equal responsibility.
12. Go over house rules, particularly the digital & video game playing, Instagram, Snapchat, and TV viewing.
13. Don’t overbook them, especially the first few weeks of school. Downtime gives kids time to decompose and do homework.
14. Do your bedtime routine unrushed. Pick out clothes the night before, or another idea, for the late risers, let them sleep in their clothes, so they simply wake and go.
16. Plan ahead for the birthday party. Search our Kids Birthday Party Guide.
17. Plan for plenty of rewards for good behavior! Give praise with plenty of hugs!
18. If it is a new school for your child, attend any available orientations and take an opportunity to tour the school before the first day.
19. And finally, smile, laugh and stress less cause one day school will be over!
20. Repeat #19. One day, this will all be a blur.