Where did the summer go? How could it possibly be time for you to read back to school tips for parents?
As an empty nester, I miss those days. I miss the trips for school supplies, sports physicals, and new backpacks. I loved having my two daughters home for the summer, but I learned early on to go with the flow, so when it was time to get ready for school, I made my list and got on it!
How about you…. is the thought of preparing for a new school year overwhelming or challenging? I have a few tips I learned over the years to make the adjustment from summer to school days a bit easier. I hope they benefit you and your family!
Back to School Tips:
- Get a large box or tote and collect school supplies all year. Even if it’s too late this year, watch for those great specials that pop up throughout the year and keep them all together for next. Try to buy in bulk, use coupons, and always look at last year’s supplies- some things might be in good shape and can be used another year!
- Sit down with your child, go over the school supply list and then go over their personal list. We didn’t buy our daughters new backpacks each year- only when they were truly worn. Just because your child wants it, doesn’t mean they need it before school starts. Add those “other items” to their birthday and Christmas lists and share with Grandparents and other family and friends.
- Clean closets and bedrooms before school starts. Ideally, I tried to do this with each daughter in the middle of the summer. I would suggest the idea ahead of time or on a day when moods were good and nothing pressing was going on. The task is much easier with your help. Try on clothes to see what still fits, clean and organize their desk or study area, and begin the year with a clean slate (it will fill up quickly!).
- Establish a “home command center”- a place where all family members put school and work items. This may be a desk in the kitchen or a bulletin board and baskets by a door- try to figure out a place that works in your home. This makes it so much easier to sign permission slips, check homework, and keep up with activities when you have a central area that all backpacks and computer bags are kept. Keep a large family calendar in this area. This allows you to remove notes and party invitations from backpacks and promptly put dates, costs, etc. on the calendar.
- Take your child to a special dinner to discuss goals for the year, activities they would like to try, and challenges or concerns they have about the upcoming school year. These were some of my favorite nights! Sometimes the dinner was with both girls- your children will often receive lessons and advice better from siblings and peers-but they still need your guidance. There were also a few times we wanted to focus on each daughter individually-especially the summer before high school and college. And don’t forget the transition to middle school… I don’t know if that’s harder for the student or the parent?! Be sure you laugh and have fun; even serious topics need to have a lighter side!
- Pray with and for your children as they begin the new school year. It was and still is such an honor to pray for my girls! Your child faces lots of trials at school- be in their corner daily as you lift them up to our Heavenly Father.
What back to school tips do you have to share? Leave them in the comment section below.
Photo Credit: Phil Roeder