Back To School Preparation Tip List

Back-to-SchoolHave you started getting ready for back to school? It’s not too soon!

Your children will be returning back to school before you know it. Summer vacation will be ending sooner than you think! For most in my area, school starts the day after Labor Day. It can be a hectic time if you are not prepared. Will you be ready?

Here are some helpful tips to help you prepare for back to school:

Review the kids’ wardrobes and have them try on their clothes

Have a fashion show! Make sure to do this before you go shopping for new clothes so you know exactly what you need. Donate or pass down clothing to another child. If you do need new clothing, pay attention to sales to save money.

Complete necessary medical forms in time for the return to school

You might need to schedule an appointment with your pediatrician for shots and signatures so allow enough time to do so. If food allergies are a concern, contact you child’s teacher to discuss necessary precautions.

Finalize arrangements for after-school care

This may involve transportation, payment arrangements and scheduling of pick-up. Be sure the provider knows who is permitted to pick up your child at the end of the day.

Purchase an alarm clock

This is a great tool for those children who have more difficulty getting up. Choose one that gets progressively louder or put one on the opposite side of the room to get them out of bed to shut it off.

Pack lunches the night before to save time in the morning

Plan out lunches a week at a time and have a sturdy lunch box or bag for each child. Purchase fruit snacks and granola bars, for example, in bulk to make sure they are always on hand.

Use a family calendar

This is helpful to keep up with the kids’ busy schedules. Indicate half days and school holidays for the year. Keep track of extra curricular activities. Check the calendar each evening to be sure you are prepared for the following day.

Organize your paperwork

The paper starts coming through the door the first day, so be prepared. Create an “in” and “out” bin for processing. Use a bulletin board for important information, such as extra curricular activity schedules, important appointments and contact information.

Start adjusting their bedtime

Gradually move the kids’ bedtime up by about 15 minutes each night so they will be well adjusted when it’s time for school to start. You want to be sure they get plenty of sleep.

Set up a homework station

Create one that provides enough space, good lighting and supplies that are needed. Your child will be more productive when they have a designated place to do their homework.

Enjoy

Finally, enjoy the rest of the lazy days of summer with the kids. This is the time to spend doing things you all enjoy before the hectic school season begins. Start planning now so you will be prepared for “Back To School.”

Written by: Audrey Cupo, Professional Organizer

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About the Author

Audrey Cupo is a professional organizer and the sole proprietor of A BETTER SPACE based in Jamison, PA. She has been providing this service since 2004. She specializes in residential organizing and works with busy moms to eliminate the clutter in their homes and in their lives. She shows them customized tools to get and stay organized. Audrey not only loves to work one-on-one with her clients, she gives seminars and workshops on the subject of organizing, writes a weekly blog on her A BETTER SPACE website, and guest blogs on various other sites. Audrey produces a free monthly newsletter “Organizing News You Can Use” and, in her spare time, creates products for her own U Can Do It product line.

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Start in the Summer to Ensure School Year Success

School busIs it really already that time…to start thinking of “Back to School?” Unfortunately, the answer is “yes.” It’s definitely not too early to start planning for your child’s success for the coming school year.

As a teacher for the past eighteen years and the father of two (11 and 16) I have dedicated a big part of my life to helping young people reach their full potential, to find confidence in themselves and to reach success in their lives.

As parents, we want our kids to have wonderful school experiences. We want them to learn a lot, get good grades, get along with their teachers, and make meaningful social connections. So, take time over the summer to discuss next year’s expectations. Talk to your child about what they want for next year, and express your desires for them as well.

Your discussion should incorporate what happened last school year, both the successes as well as areas that need improvement. When you identify what went well, show your child how to continue to ride that wave for continued success next year. As for the areas that didn’t work out so well, take the time this summer to figure out what needs to change for next year.

Time For Big Changes

It’s not good enough to say, “You didn’t do your homework last year. This year you need to do it.” Instead you must help your child first buy into the importance of getting their homework done: “Did you like missing out on the class party last year? How do you feel about your grades on your report card? Do you think you practiced math enough to be as successful as you want?” Then, figure out what needs to change next year: “Let’s make a new agreement. You come home after school. Get a snack. You can have some screen time. Then by 4:00 screens go off and you finish your homework before dinner.”

Time For a Few Tweaks

If your child had an okay year last year, talk to her about how to take it up a notch, how to take it to the next level: “You hung in there last year for English class with a B-. I think you can pull an A next year. You read two novels last year. Do you think you can read four this year?”

Time To Enjoy The Spoils Of Success

And, if your child just rocked the school year, inspire him to continue that momentum come fall: “You had a great school year, last year. What do you attribute your success to? Well, let’s see if we can’t keep that up this year.”

Building Confidence

This summer, you’re going to want to instill confidence in your child for the upcoming term. That means you are going to have them visualize their success by year’s end. Map out a plan of action to reach that goal over the upcoming ten months. If you need to create a new schedule together to ensure success, this is the time to do it.

Stand United With The Teacher

And don’t forget prepping yourself for the upcoming year, as well. That means, no matter who your child’s teacher/s is/are, be prepared to back them up. As a veteran in the classroom, I know that sometimes parents feel as though teachers pick on their children. The truth is, we don’t! If we are telling you there are issues, it’s not because we don’t like your child. It’s because we want your support to help address the issue. Even if you don’t particularly like your child’s new teacher, back them up. The moment your child senses a division between authority at home and school, they know they can work one side against the other. So, back up the teacher and discuss the best ways to help your child.

This summer should be filled with camps, trips, swimming pools and lemonade stands, but don’t wait until the last moment to prep your child for the upcoming school year. If you start early and do it right, next year can definitely be a breeze, a summer breeze.

Written by: Leon Scott Baxter, Author

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About the Author

Leon Scott Baxter is the founder of SafetyNetters.com and the author of four books, the latest titled “Secrets of Safety-Net Parenting.” He is an elementary school teacher, the father of two girls (11 and 16) and has been married to his college sweetheart since 1992.

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Back To School Tips

7403731050_9a1ee480deNo one ever really feels ready to kick start another school year. It’s not easy for any family to adjust to routine all over again, but here are some ideas that can help you and the rest of the family ease in and make the transition a lot smoother, not to mention keeping organized and prepared. A little preparation will end up saving you from frustration later on, so you have a smooth and stress free start to your year.

EASE IN SLOWLY

Ease into the schedule change. During the last two weeks of summer, re-introduce a school year bedtime. Begin waking late sleepers earlier and earlier, closer to the hour they’ll need to rise when school begins. Also, start scheduling mealtimes and snack times if you don’t already, this will make their tummies more acclimated to the same time frame.

CREATE A CALENDAR

Create a calendar! Between all the notes and school calendars, after-school activities, school functions, lunch menus, etc., what do you do when you’re drowning in paperwork? Make a centralized site for all family calendars and schedules. You’ll need a family event calendar to track after-school activities, school programs and volunteer work. For more specific details, add post-it notes or specialized calendars if you are working electronically.

PLAN AHEAD

Plan before you shop. Lists, lists, lists. Did we mention lists? Make your meal plans for the week ahead of time and make a list of what you plan on doing. If the store doesn’t have the item you want on sale if you are budgeting, you can make adjustments, but in general if you stick to your plan and take a few hours on a Sunday to cook ahead, portion food out and prepare, it makes everything easier for both you and the kids.

GET PAPERWORK ORGANIZED

Get your papers in order. By mid-summer you may want to schedule any allergist appointments, immunizations or sports physicals, and get all paperwork ready to give to the school. Sometimes a well visit or a specialist can take several months to schedule, so make sure you get it done as early as possible!

BREAKFAST

Breakfast, morning, get moving……….this can be the hardest to get back to, but make sure you allow yourself and the kids enough to time to get dressed, shower, load the backpacks (or an even better trick is to do that before bed), so they have time to sit and eat their breakfast. Also, give yourself a few extra minutes of leeway in the planning in case something does go off kilter and then you won’t be running late on a schedule that’s too rigid.

Once you get back in the swing of things, you and the kids will be back to your old routine in no time, and hopefully this just makes the switch that much easier.

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