The end of summer is an exciting and hectic time of the year if you are a parent. Back to school time can be difficult for moms and dads - it means schedule shifts, shopping trips, new house rules, and just overall running around to get everything in order so their first day back is as great as possible. Read on to learn what to do to get ready for back-to-school season and how preparation is any parent's best friend during this busy time!
Whether your children are elementary or high school age, setting boundaries for the new school year will lead to a harmonious home. Sure, rules don’t sound like a lot of fun for your kids, but they help set expectations and decrease the chances of stressful situations.
Set boundaries on things such as screen time, curfews, homework rules, having friends over, house duties, or anything else that requires communication in your home. Be firm and precise in your boundaries, but try not to be too strict to keep a positive environment.
One of the biggest back-to-school tips is to enjoy the time before school starts. While many parents are probably ready to get back to a regular schedule again, it’s important to remember to take advantage of the free time and summer activities available before everyone is busy again.
Plan a quick weekend trip, visit museums and exhibits, enjoy time outside with a picnic or beach day, try to get in some last minute summertime activities as a family before free time is filled with school obligations.
The summer is notorious for making us lose track of what day of the week it is. With no schedule and long days of various activities, going back to school after summer break is a big schedule change. In the couple of weeks leading up to back-to-school season, try to get back on some sort of routine.
Set alarm clocks earlier and earlier on Mondays through Fridays, start having family dinners around the same time every night, and try to establish an earlier bedtime to make it easier to transition into the school year.
Similar to setting boundaries for actions, set up dedicated spaces in your home for different activities. As a parent, you’ve probably realized that your children can take up a lot of space in the house. To keep order and avoid conflict arising from different activities in the same space, decide where you want to do what and when.
For example, the living room is free space until 8 pm, which is when mom and dad get to watch their shows. Or, the kitchen table is a study space until 6 pm when dinner is served. If you need a true space of your own, consider a she shed or a man cave just for you!
Making your house into a smart home is one of the easiest ways to simplify your life, and therefore reduce stress during back-to-school season. Smart home devices include voice assistants like Siri and Alexa, smart appliances like refrigerators and coffee pots, and even smart furniture!
Using smart devices can help you keep track of groceries, set morning alarms, make back-to-school shopping lists, brew a cup of coffee, relax and unwind, and even help your children with their homework. Connecting your home helps keep the whole family connected.
Being a parent is often a thankless job, especially when it comes to kids going back to school. From all the preparation you do before with schedule planning and back-to-school shopping to everything you do once the school year is in full swing, you deserve some rest and relaxation.
Take time for yourself whenever you can, whether it’s with a simple massage at home in your favorite SoCozi recliner or with a night out when your teens are out of the house with their own plans. It’s easy to get stuck in parent-only mode, but never forget to treat yourself!
Last, but certainly not least, is the most important back-to-school tip! You may think you’ll be set by just grabbing a few notebooks, a fresh pack of pencils and pens, and some binders, but there is a lot more to back-to-school shopping than you’d expect.
Sit down with your children and see if they have received any supplies lists from teachers, then make a shopping list for back-to-school clothing or anything needed for the house such as desk supplies or groceries for lunches and after-school snacks. Being under-prepared on the first day of school is never a great first impression.
One final tip? Make sure to have family time every day if possible. Whether it’s cozying up on the couch to watch a show or having breakfast every morning, family time helps ground everyone from the hectic days of work and school.
Preparing for your kids going back to school can be a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be stressful! By following these tips for back-to-school season, you and your children will have an easy transition back into the school year. Preparation is key in helping you maintain your sanity as your children shift from the fun and free days of summer to the scheduled days of school.