Ready or not, back-to-school time is here. And if summer break in your house looked anything like ours, getting back into the routine of regular bedtimes, homework and early wake up calls can be a harsh reality…both for the kids… and the parents!
As you transition into full school mode, here are few tips (reminders) to help you reduce stress levels and stay on top of things for the upcoming school year.
5 School Survival Tips for Moms
When it comes to back to school, it can feel like the mornings are a fast sprint to get lunches packed, kids dressed and fed, and out the door in time for the school bell. Since every minute counts, we’ve compiled a few tips to get you to school, on time and with less stress!
Make mornings a little easier on yourself by taking a few minutes to meal prep on Sunday before the week begins. Wash and cut up the fruit, veggies, cheese, and protein and stack in Tupperware so it’s easy to grab and assemble the school lunches. Get the lunch boxes out the night before and add all the dry snacks so you only need to add refrigerated items the morning of. Have a picky eater? Create homemade bento boxes or snack kabobs to make lunchtime fun. Your kids will be surprised and it may entice them to eat if they are feeling those back-to-school butterflies. Check out our Healthy Lunch Ideas article for some inspiration!
What to Wear
Getting the kids dressed in the morning often feels like a hurdle to getting out the door on time. If your little fashionista(s) have strong opinions on what they wear (like mine do), have them lay out their outfits the night before so it’s easy to get dressed in the morning. That way, the kid(s) get to choose their outfit and parents get a chance to approve it ahead of time, eliminating wardrobe disagreements in the morning.
The Early Bird Gets to School on Time
Waking up the kids in the morning often feels like waking a bear out of hibernation, so I like to enlist a “mommy’s helper” to help the kids wake up on their terms. The Amazon Echo has an alarm function so your kids can ask Alexa to wake them up at 7 AM, in the voice of their favorite character, or to a song they love. The Echo Dot Kids comes with parental controls, so parents can set a time limit. Plus, it comes in adorable animal shapes. If your kid(s) aren’t yet back to school, start enforcing an earlier bedtime the week before school starts. Move up bedtime by 5 minutes each night, so by the end of the week, they are going to bed at the same time they normally would before their school day. It will make the first-day wake up call a little less shocking.
Schedule Playdates and Stay Connected with School & Summer Friends
Seeing a familiar face can make all the difference when heading back to school and vice versa, stay connected with friends you made in the summer. If your kid(s) haven’t seen their friends from school all summer, reach out to parents you know from school and schedule playdates or a group meet-up so the kid(s) can get re-oriented before school begins.
Once you find out who your child’s teacher is, connect with the parents you know to see if your child already has a friend in his/her class. Knowing they have a friend in class will help with those first day jitters. In fact, according to John Hopkins Medicine, “Research shows that the presence of a familiar peer during school transitions can improve children’s academic and emotional adjustment.”
Build Your Village
It’s inevitable that during the course of the school year, you may find yourself in a bind from time-to-time and need a hand with school pick-ups, drop-offs, or after school care. Reach out to a few parents in your neighborhood to form a carpool and create a schedule to alternate pick ups and drop offs. Or, if you have a full-time job and need help after school, inquire about after school programs on campus or check with your local YMCA or Boys and Girls Club.
If you want something more personalized, check out June Care. It’s a new service that matches working moms with stay-at-home moms who can help with school pick-ups and aftercare. All their host parents are background checked and have their own kids with them, so your child can meet a new friend in your neighborhood.