Aug 15, 2022 | by Cindy Sullivan
School buses are making an appearance this month and with Back-to-School, lots of activity and change taking place. Here are a few things to consider so you can smooth the transition back into the school year.
- New Morning Routines A new school year usually brings mornings that look at bit different than they did over the summer. That may mean an earlier wake-up time, battle-of-the-bathrooms, and a flurry of cereal bowls and backpack packing. Think through what adjustments will be needed. It might mean changing bath/shower schedules, earlier bedtime, or loading the backpacks the night before. What works best for your family so you have a more seamless launch to your day? If possible, give yourself time to ease into new wakeup times so everyone is awake and at their best on Day one!
- Traffic Busses on the road and school zones may be part of your morning commute. Remember to build in extra time when scheduling appointments or heading into the office
- Calendar School calendars will be coming home (or available online). Mark those school holidays and breaks, teacher in-service days, late-start days, and other school closures into your primary family and work calendar. Invest time to do it now so you aren't surprised by that random Friday school holiday you didn't account for and now have to scramble to find a sitter for!
- Medical What medical considerations need to be built into the start of the school year? Do you need to keep any medications at school? Is a physical required or a physician form needed in order for your child to participate in a sport? When is the best time of day in their schedule for you to book a dental or other doctor appointment?
- Supplies Even if you pre-ordered school supplies or already went out to pick up all the glue sticks, notebooks, and other supplies, I would venture to guess that there will still be a few random items left to gather once school resumes. Teachers may want students to have a specific item for their class, a particular type of calculator, or to build a well-stocked arsenal of hand sanitizer and tissues. Plan a spot in your schedule so you can handle those errands (hopefully) all at one time.
- Forms, Forms, Forms Even for the most technology-based school district, you'll likely need to complete forms for everything from general contact and demographic info, medical considerations, transportation preferences, you name it. Carve out time to get this done rather than leaving it till the deadline and wishing you had more than 20 minutes to get it all done.
- Food With the kiddos back in school, what needs to change in terms of grocery shopping during the school year? Do your kids pack lunches or will they eat at school? That may end up meaning you need to stock up on packable drinks, snack cakes, and sandwich fixings. Or, you may be able to cut back so things don't go to waste if they eat in the cafeteria. What breakfast foods are best to have on hand so everyone can eat and get out the door on time? Do your kids pack snacks in addition to lunch? Do you need to do any cutting, washing, or other prep or do you keep grab-and-go items handy?
- The "Fall Out" Do you have a home for shoes, backpacks & book bags, lunch boxes, and the inevitable pile of papers and art projects that come home? What about permission slips and forms you'll need to address? (That's YOUR homework, by the way!). If you can identify the home you've given things and you all work to develop the habit early on, you can keep the chaos relatively contained and everyone can find what they need.
- Connection With school taking up a majority of the day, kids (and families overall) have a lot that now gets packed into the evening. Think now about ways you can build in time to connect with each other while still making room for playing with friends, homework, and all those extra curricular activities that life holds. Having meals together, planning a game night, even just time together when out walking the dog. Be intentional in holding those that mean the most to you together and building relationships.
- Give a little Grace A LOT goes on at this time of year. With all of the changes - new classes, new friends, new routines, etc, it can be overwhelming - for us as parents, and especially for our littlest school-goers. Give grace where it's needed and share that you may need a little grace too. Model that it's OK to get frustrated with all that's going on but that you can work through it by helping each other out and being understanding. Before you know it, it will all be running like clockwork! (Well, some semblance of it anyway.).
Cheers to a new and happy school year to you all!
Could you use a Back-to-School tune-up yourself? Contact Cindy here for a complimentary consultation and identify top ways you can have a productive and effective year. Also, Take the 6 Pillars productivity assessment to see the top areas to address for improving your time management.