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Prepping for Back-to-School

After more than a year of virtual school, we are getting close to the start of the 2021-2022 school year. This upcoming school year, students can return to the classroom for in-person learning. While this can be exciting for some, it can also bring about worries, questions, and the rush of prepping for back-to-school. This might also be the time you are transitioning back to the office, even more reason to prep!

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Since online learning likely changed the schedule and routine around school, it will be important to start getting back into a routine of in-person learning. Starting this prep early can help to make the transition back to in-person education easier…not only for the students but for you as a parent, too. Ready to dive into how and when to start prepping for back-to-school?

Here are some ideas on how and when to start prepping:

School Supplies

Back-to-school shopping can be chaotic, but so much fun at the same time. Before you go shopping, check with your child’s school or teachers for a list of required supplies. If they don’t have a list, I encourage you to create one, having a list can make school shopping much smoother. Many schools and teachers communicate through email, educational apps, and online school/learning portals. Do you have those installed and ready to go? Check with your child’s school to learn more.

Additionally, don’t forget to look for deals based on your list. School supplies, usually, go on sale before school starts. This could also be a great time to snag some deals on back-to-the-office or home office supplies for you. Looking for more savings? In Florida, this year, the sales-tax holiday is July 31st through August 9th.

Morning Routine

The morning routine can be so tiresome (literally) so getting this one down can help get you out the door on time. You’ve probably had a different morning schedule—for virtual school and over the summer. You know your child and yourself best, so use that knowledge to figure out when you should start setting your alarm closer and closer to the time you need to be up to get ready for school and work.

I recommend starting this about 2 weeks before the first day of school. Set your alarm for yourself and your kid(s) a little earlier for the first week until you get to that sweet spot—the time you need to be up so everyone in the family has time to get ready for school and work. Then, the week before school starts, wake up each day at the same time you would for school and work. Also, start practicing the dressing, grooming/hygiene, and breakfast routines. The morning isn’t just about waking up but about having a good and healthy routine for the whole family.

Meals

If you have a picky kid(s), you might be dreading thinking about and planning meals once school starts. Get your kid(s) in on the meal prep. Talk with them, ask them what they would like to eat for lunch and snacks, even breakfast, once school starts. Show them how to make or prep their lunches and snacks (depending on what is appropriate for them to make or help with). Make a calendar for meals and snacks and prep the night before to make your mornings easier. Change it up but keep it simple. Check out these kid’s lunch ideas for inspiration!

Afternoon Routine

Mother walking her daughter home from school as their afternoon routine.

You’re working and school ends at 2 pm. Who is picking the kids up from school and taking them to their extra-curricular activities? I’m sure this is a question many families face and it’s tough because after-school childcare can be expensive. School schedules were definitely not created with works schedules in mind!

If you’re unable to pick up your child or don’t have someone else you trust to pick them up, look into afterschool options at the school and off-campus. Some afterschool programs even offer transportation from the school. Compare costs and find the one that works for your family.

Planning extra-curricular activities that fit into your family schedule can reduce potential burdens. When you plan, consider the location, distance, and length of the activities.

Homework

boy doing his homework

Establish a homework schedule or routine and have a “homework area”. This can be the kitchen table or the countertop—anything that turns into the “homework area” when it’s homework time. Most kids don’t like doing homework. Building a reward chart or token board into the homework routine might help increase motivation.

It is a good idea to check the homework before it gets put away. You can set up an area where completed homework gets turned in to you to get checked. This way you can make sure it gets done and see if there are any areas your child may need your help.

Communication

You’re busy, your family is busy, and teachers are busy. Coming with a way to communicate regularly can seem impossible. Remember, drop-off and pick-up times are pretty crazy at schools, so those are not the best times to speak with the teacher there is a lot of noise, students leaving, and not a lot of time to discuss.

That’s why I like to suggest scheduling a meeting with the teacher to establish the best way to communicate and decide how often. I like the idea of using a composition notebook or something similar, where both you and the teacher can write important notes and keep track of your communication. If this won’t work for you or the teacher, find something that does.

Evening/Bedtime Routine

bedtime routine for father and daughter.

Like the morning routine, establishing an evening/bedtime routine is just as important. About 2 weeks before school starts, begin to establish the evening/bedtime routine. Slowly start to get to that time when the family will wind down and kids will go to bed. Just like the morning routine, you can get closer and closer to that time, and then 1 week before, the family sticks to the school evening/bedtime routine. Turning off screens (phones, computers, tablets, etc.) and engaging in wind-down activities are recommended.

Think about what else goes into the evening/bedtime routine for your family and make sure to add those in the 2 weeks you are practicing and getting back into the school groove. You can also teach independence in some areas where you see your kid(s) are getting the hang of things. This can help alleviate everything you need to do. Add reminders, when needed, and use timers.

COVID-19 Safety

Covid-19 safety precautions, mother put a mask on her daughter.

With COVID-19 still looming over us and COVID-19 precautions likely to be a part of in-person learning, prepping for this is a necessity. Contact the school your kid(s) will be attending and find out what their policies regarding COVID-19 safety will be for the upcoming school year. Make sure you get masks and hand sanitizer and practice using both.

Each family is different and has different needs. If you need help getting yourself, your family or, your child prepped for the return to school in person, contact us. We now have 2 convenient locations where we can schedule a free consultation.