The Back to School Countdown Begins
Monday, July 8, 2013
Happy Monday to you! Did you have a great fourth of July weekend? I hope so.
We had a most excellent weekend, taking a less-is-more approach to it all. We didn’t plan a thing, except to be together, cook good food and have fun.
This approach worked so well, that we all agreed that our 4 day weekend was like a much needed vacation. Our souls needed this break in the action and we aren’t even a fast track family.
It’s a good thing that we had this respite, because now there are only 32 days left of summer vacation. Oh my. The powers that be (the school board here in middle TN) have decided that a start date in the middle of some of the hottest days of summer would be A-Okay.
Pitching a fit is a waste of time. Planning now for a smooth back to school transition in our home is a much safer bet.
Here is my plan of action:
1. Start the bedtime routine change now.
If you are like us and take a more lenient summer bedtime routine, it’s time to nip it in the bud. Don’t wait until there is a week or two before school starts or everybody will be tired and crabby all day. Parents: this means we have to go to bed earlier too. No more late night TV.
2. Set a dinnertime.
Make sure dinner time is early enough that food is digested before bedtime, but not so early that your family has powered through what they ate and need a snack right when they should be brushing their teeth. This is especially tricky for me with a growing teen and tween. They are always hungry! (Yes, girls are always hungry too at this stage.) I aim for 6:30pm to 6:45pm.
3. Clean out their closets.
Do this early, if you haven’t already AND make them try on every piece they want to keep. With my girls, I go one step further and ask them to see how many outfits they can make. This is a true sanity saver when you are back to school clothes shopping and they are looking at all the cute jeans when you know they really need tops.
4. Clean out or prep our drop zones.
Every family is different, with a different system in place, but I have found that having the kids place their backpacks, incoming papers, permission slips etc. in specified places daily works for us.
For instance, backpacks must be cleaned out, repacked for the next day and be sitting by the front door for the morning. Period.
5. Listen now.
School can be stressful with some years more stressful than others. Both my daughters happen to be entering a grade that is particularly stressful: 9th and 5th respectively. You can probably relate to the freshman nerves, but may be wondering about little 5th graders. Trust me: this is the year the cattiness and cliques start. I have set aside private time and chatted with both my girls about going back to school.
They were very illuminating conversations that helped me map out this first plan of action, but I know it won’t be the last this year. I still need to plan my back to school supply shopping strategy and then there is this biggie to think about:
there is only 169 days until Christmas.
When do your kids go back to school?