Summer is drawing to a close and school will be starting up again soon. We all know it’s challenging for kids to transition from the lazy days of summer back to the more stringent routines and responsibilities of school days. But it can be hard for parents, too. Here are some tips for making the back-to-school transition a little easier for everyone. (featured image via Real Simple)
1) Supply inventory: Before you rush out to buy school supplies, check around the house for pens, notebooks, paper, etc. leftover from last year’s supplies. You might be able to shorten or even eliminate a trip to the office supply store.
2) Checklists: Make checklists of must-do morning routine tasks for the kids (make bed, brush teeth, feed dog, etc.) and let them check each item off as it is completed. Going through the checklist each morning will help them establish a new routine and avoid any last-minute forgotten items.
3) Outfits: Over the weekend, help your child choose an outfit for each day of the coming week and set them out (grouped on hangers or in a labeled daily pile) in his/her room so there’s no agonizing or arguing over what to wear each morning.
4) Lunches: Pack lunch bags the night before so that each child can simply grab one on the way out the door.
5) Easy breakfast: Consider pre-making and stockpiling breakfast items that will require only minimal effort in the morning. Portioned baggies of instant oatmeal, yogurt cups, cut-up fruit and healthy muffins can help take the fuss out of eating a good breakfast before school – or on the go.
6) Family calendar: Start the schoolyear off right by using a wall or desk calendar to keep track of each family member’s schedule in one place (use a different color marker for each person). This can make it easier to visualize what each day’s activities will look like and who needs to be where and when.
7) Downtime: Don’t forget that part of planning the family calendar should include schedule some downtime for yourself as well as the kids.
Julianne Puckett is the creator of Yankee Kitchen Ninja, a blog about what she calls “stealthy homemaking” — healthy recipes that are quick and easy to prepare, DIY gardening tips and the occasional craft project. A designer, writer and former suburban-dwelling IT professional, she lives in rural Vermont, where she struggles to balance the siren call of her inner farmer with her love of cute shoes and cocktails.