The Secret to a Smooth Transition into the School Year

August 19, 2013 4:50 PM | Sara Genrich
The weeks, days and hours leading up to the start of school can be chaotic, busy and overwhelming. The following tips on preparing your kids, schedule and home for start of school will help you ease into the school year without stress.

First, prepare your kids for the first week of school by making haircut and doctor appointments as soon as possible. The earlier you call for appointments, the more likely you are to get a good appointment time. Avoid shopping for school clothes and backpacks during peak hours and on the weekends. The clothing and department stores are easiest to navigate in the morning and evening. Print out your child's school supply list and put it into your purse or wallet. You can pickup supplies at Target, Walmart and even the grocery store while you are out running your usual errands. If your kids are used to sleeping in or staying up late, spend the last weeks of summer getting them back on schedule. Start routine bedtime habits and morning rituals at least one week before school starts. This adjustment to their sleep schedule will help your child's energy level the first few weeks of school!

Second, prepare your schedule by adding all your son's/daughter's school events and activities to your calendar. Most schools have special events like Open House, Meet the Teacher and Photo Days posted on their websites. Take a few minutes to add these events to your family calendar(s) and add in school holidays. If your children are in different schools, be sure to do this for everyone. Even college students have parent weekends and days that you will want to mark on the calendar. Next add in your child's personal activities like games, practices and extra curricular activities. Be sure to share all the events with your spouse. This will help the entire family know about all upcoming events.

Third, prepare your home for the upcoming school year by organizing spaces. Create a clean, organized, well lit place for your child to study and do homework. Buy extra supplies of staple items to keep at home in their study area or desk. Items like markers, colored pencils, paper, poster boards, pens, pencils, rulers, etc. are important to have on hand for at home projects. Spend a few minutes with your child organizing their drawers and closets. Throw out any items that no longer fit or that your child no longer likes. Donate them to your local Goodwill, Salvation Army or Thrift Store for other children to enjoy. (Locally, I recommend ACO for all clothing and shoe donations). Cleaning out closets and drawers will help your child find the clothes that he/she wants to wear easily. When preparing your home, create a space and system for incoming school papers and forms. This can be as simple as a defined space on the counter or an inbox on a wall. Make communicating with the school easy by adding the school's and teachers' contact information to your smartphone and email address book.

Preparing your child, schedule and home for the school year will benefit your entire family. The time that you spend preparing will be given back to you by reducing the chaos and stress that the new school year brings. Enjoy your last few days of summer knowing that you are ready for the upcoming year.
  
NAPO-DFW, Inc. is a legal entity separate and distinct from NAPO, Inc. (the National Association of Professional Organizers) and is not entitled to act on behalf of or to bind NAPO, contractually or otherwise.
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