It’s Time. Back-to-School Prep has Begun.
Back-to-school time always seems to come roaring out of nowhere, surprising me every year. August, you sneaky little summer month!
August is a frenzy for me. What clothes fit? Who needs a haircut? Where can I buy gym shoes (because I waited too long and Target is OUT.) And our district is starting school before Labor Day this year, so I really need to get it in gear.
As a former teacher, this whole experience baffles me. I know the routine. I used to spend weeks getting my classroom ready to go. But ask me to prep my own kids and I’m a hot mess.
They say the first step to recovery is acknowledging your problem. So here it is: I’m Melody and I‘m a terrible back-to-school planner. I pledge to tune in to the signs that school will be starting soon and get my kids what they need AND even go the extra mile to make my child’s new teacher happy.
Ready List for Back-to-School
Here are seven tips for showing that new teacher that you are here to help them and your child have the best year ever!
1 – Shop the teacher’s list.
Find the supply list the teacher sent home and follow it. Specific brands and sizes are on there for a reason, even if it doesn’t make sense to us. I have found that Amazon is a great place to get a lot of this stuff and it saves from trudging to lots of different venues.
2 – Sharpen all of the pencils.
After buying the Dixon Ticonderoga Pencils, take a few minutes with your kids to sharpen them. I once spent a whole year volunteering in a classroom where my main job was sharpening all of the pencils and colored pencils. Teachers will love you if you send these things into the classroom already sharpened.
3 – Turn in forms on time.
Probably the least-favorite activity for everyone is the annual deluge of forms. Teachers don’t like managing all of this paper and parents hate filling it out. But it must be done. Set aside time that first night or week of school so you can complete the paperwork and get it back to the teacher as soon as possible. Even better, have older kids assist in completing their own forms. It’s great practice for adulthood.
4 – Return to a school bedtime routine.
Get the kids used to going to bed and waking up at “school time” a week or so before school starts.
5 – Prep for lunchtime.
Teach little kids how to efficiently open/close all the things in their lunches, as well as the importance of hand washing.
6 – Label all of the things.
Put the child’s name on any personal items that get sent to school (coats, mittens, lunchbox, etc).
7 – Keep the kids reading.
Even if you didn’t sign up for a summer reading program, getting your kids on a 20-30 minute daily reading schedule NOW will help their transition back to the classroom.
One Final Tip
Back to school is exciting. All of the change also means it’s stressful for teachers, kids, and parents. One of the best gifts we can give ourselves, teachers, and kids is grace.
Perfection is not the goal here. Launching our kids into a successful school year with adults who support and love them is what we’re looking for, and that, as they say, takes a village.