by Allison Castellanos
(1) Supply shopping… wait for it.. no, really, wait for it. Do not go school supply shopping until you have received a specific list from your child’s school or teacher. Year after year, I hear sob stories from exasperated moms who have spent countless hours gathering all of the must-haves at extraordinary prices, only to find out they got it all wrong.
(2) Gradually wake up earlier. Most of us get much more lenient with bedtime and wake-up times as summer progresses. Well friends, it is time to reset! If your kids are currently waking up at 10:00 a.m., but need to be getting up at 7:00 a.m. in a few short weeks.. you must take action. Figure out how much time you need to make up and how many days you have left until Doomsday, and apply accordingly. A good rule of thumb would be to set the alarm 30 minutes earlier every 3-5 days. If you get down to only the week before, you might have to implement the “band-aid method”. Yep, you guessed it, just yank that time away quickly and completely that last week before. Better to have that be the grumpy week from H-E-L-L than the actual back-to-school week, trust me.
(3) Get meals back to normal. It is time to banish the night-after-night of summer splurging on pizza and drive-thrus at varying times of the day/night. Part of getting them to sleep and wake on time will include having full bellies and proper nutrition to help increase their energy levels.
(4) Come up with a school calendar system. Here are just a few basic ideas to apply. Write every assignment down, even if it gets finished in class. Put a circle/box next to each assignment to be checked off upon completion. Highlight tests/quizzes in pink. Highlight assignments that will require the textbook/workbook to complete in yellow. Highlight anything else he/she will need to remember to bring (ex: gym clothes, silent reading book, lunch money, library dues, etc) in orange.
(5) Map out August and September on a family calendar. Make sure that each family member gets his/her own color. While each person should also have their own personalized calendar with only things that apply to him/her, this is an awesome way to keep everyone on the same page, and hopefully make plans to join each other for special things (ex: theatre performance, graduation day, 3-Dultrasound appointment, birthday dinner, etc). Besides this, wouldn’t it be nice for everyone else in the house to see how much YOU actually do?!
(6) Coordinate plans for child care and rides. Back-to-school time is crazy enough for you, along with everyone else on which you may have to depend. Do everyone a favor and plan early.
(7) Take a last minute vacay. Take a drive to San Diego to take a boat ride and visit the Maritime Museum or Hearst Castle and maybe even camp for a day or two? If nothing else, go to beach or bust out the slip-n-slide at home. Maybe even camp in your back yard complete with S’mores and stargazing. Ditch the phones and tablets for some good ‘ol conversation, perhaps reminiscing on the sweet summertime together.
(8) Reduce technology time. If you are anything like me, it has been a slippery slope with the iPad allowance. Many students spend tons of hours watching television, on the internet, and/or playing video games. While this may be acceptable during summer, it sure is hard to get them to quit or adjust to quitting cold turkey. It is best to reduce the time a little by little, maybe using a timer to help them be more cognizant of exactly how much time they actually spend on those things.
(9) Help your child design both a night time and morning time routine. Some kids do better with visuals, so try out chore cards they can hold or even a check list.
(10) Relax the two days before school starts. Fight the urge to do last-minute traveling or shopping. Nerves will be high as it is, and increased adrenaline release causes lethargy. It will be exhausting enough for everyone just getting back to the daily grind.
***MUSHY TIP ALERT*** Don’t forget to take 1st day of school pictures..AS IF you would forget to do that one right?! (Well not including last year, of course).
Thanks again, and HAPPY PREPARING!