INA Weekly Brief

Best Practices for Getting a Family School Ready

August 21, 2017
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If your family is anything like mine we are getting ready to roll into school from a relaxed, late sleeping, lazy, non-homework doing, moderate activity bound schedule, into an overdrive packed life with sports, school, tons of homework, no video games, getting up early, grinding the day out with three kids, non-stop mayhem.  As much as we look forward to a change of the season and the fall being one of the best, it is the busiest time of year.  

From one mom to another here are some tips that keep our lives alone with our sanity in check.

  • The week before school ease into the schedule. For example, make a standard bedtime and wake the kids a little earlier each day. Staying up till 10 or 11 during the school week is not good for anyone in the house.
  • Limit game time. If your kids are anything like mine breaking the addiction to video games can be daunting.  Put some structure in place if you let loose for the summer such as start and end times for play. For example stopping the screen time long before night time hours.
  • If you have let everything go during the summer make reading time a habit again. In our family, we go to bed 30-45 minutes early for reading time. If reading alone seems like a challenge simply read to your children out loud (even if they are older).  
  • Hit the stores and get organized. Be ready to pack lunches or if your children are old enough encourage them and make it easy for them to pack their own. Educating them on best practices and eating habits starts somewhere. Take the initiative to raise a good adult and make your life a little easier this year (ages 6 and up seems to be effective).
  • Before school starts engage activities the teacher sent home for the summer (yes, there are a lot of us who did not structure homework time during the summer and flat out played hooky, sorry to our favorite teachers and educators).  
  • Make sure showers happen, not just pool dips! In Southern California somehow kids affiliate a dip in the pool with a shower. Get it in gear. Clean kids with good hygiene seem to focus better.
  • Get haircuts. My boys have white/blond hair which has turned slightly green with the season of summer. Time to trim it, get the green out with the right shampoo, and protect it with tea tree conditioner for re-entry into lice land. Yes, it happens to all of us.  
  • Clean out the closet. I know this may be overly ambitious. We do this in the spring normally and late fall but it is very much time to take inventory. Need new backpacks? Need new shoes? What is the first day of school outfit? I will allow a lot of vagabond looking sporty outfits but the first day of school I need a photo. Be prepared.
  • Carpools? Do you have multiple schools? Are kids going in different directions? Reach out to your resources now and put your heads together to simplify your driving. Everything is easier when you have a friend to do it with not only for your kids but for you!
  • Confirm the calendar. How many sports and activities are you managing? After week one of the new activities drill down a good car pool. Talk to the other families and make it easier for you! 
  • Don’t hate me. Plan your holidays asap. Think about Thanksgiving because it is around the corner and book vacations and plans early. Yes, it is less than 3 months away. I am sorry.
  • Look on the school website and mark back to school night. It is coming typically 2 weeks after school begins. If you can’t go make sure to send a good note taker. Homework gets complicated as the kids get older.
  • Remember to take a picture on the first day of school!
  • Last, enjoy it!!!

During the years my kids were in preschool the stress level was so high for me. Now that they are getting older, have friends of their own, and are more independent, it is such a pleasure to watch them grow and engage. Every parent has their strengths and passions when it comes to their children and creating the lives we envisioned for them (and always continue to evolve and develop for them). Enjoy every minute and simply do the best you can.

Stacie Steelman is the Founder and CEO of Crunch Care, Inc. Stacie has been an INA member since 2007 and joined the Board of Directors in 2013, and currently serves as INA Treasurer.