Start the School Year Right: From School Supplies to Routines
August 16, 2023
Even though January officially starts the new year, most parents would say that September and “back to school” is the real new year. If you’re looking ahead to starting some new routines, check out our tips that can help you prepare to begin the school year right.
Don’t Let Their Learning Take a Vacation
You’ve probably heard about summer “brain drain.” A suitable way to help keep your kids’ skills sharp is continuing to flex their learning muscles throughout the summer. Whether you pick up books from the library or devote 30 minutes to workbook time before you hit the park or pool, consistent summer work can pay dividends when they go back to school.
Make learning fun by considering a subscription to STEAM discovery kits. STEAM is a curriculum-based educational philosophy focusing on real-world applications in science, technology, engineering, art, and math. STEAM kits are engaging, ready-to-use projects designed to expand young minds and delivered monthly right to your door.
Put an end to manic mornings by creating a home for all the items you need every day, from a hook for backpacks to a folder for permission slips — and yes, a spot for your keys, too.
You can then develop a routine where every family member spends 10 minutes assembling the next day’s necessities for easy retrieval before heading out the door or logging on to virtual school. Everyone will feel calmer without a frantic last-minute, hard-target search for homework or a library book.
Post the Schedule So That Everyone Can See
Whether you choose a whiteboard or a big wall calendar, nothing beats a visual aid to show you a week at a glance. Consider indulging your inner artist by picking up a pack of fancy pens and color-code your schedule by activity, family member, or any other system that works for you. So, you can see who has music lessons, who needs to study for a math test, and who has a late virtual meeting.
For all the whining your kids may do about going back to school, deep down, they’re usually pretty excited. You can fuel that anticipation by involving them in back-to-school shopping.
Not sure what’s on your school supplies list? Consult your school’s classroom supplies list to buy the exact school supplies you need.
Hint: Ordering back to school supplies online also makes finding things like “3 permanent markers, thin tip” and “dry-erase marker, red” much easier. You can also pick out the fun stuff, like colorful pocket folders and planners.
Consider planning a meet-and-greet with the teacher — whether in-person or virtually — to make sure you have the right supplies.
Do a Dry Run
If your kids have spent the summer sleeping late and lazing around in their pajamas, the early alarm could be a tough wake-up call. You can plan to spend the week before school gradually moving bedtimes and wake-up times earlier.
It’s also smart to test the entire morning routine a couple of times to get your timing down — especially good if you’re juggling start times with a new job or school. When your test run is successful, you can reward the whole family with breakfast!
About the Author
Cathie Ericson is a freelance writer who specializes in small business, finance, and real estate.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is,” and neither the author nor Office Depot warrants the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions, or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
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