Back in the day, Back to School was a hilarious movie starring Rodney Dangerfield. But these days—especially during the time of COVID—achieving back-to-school success requires a bit more seriousness and focused planning. Let’s take a few minutes to see how you can prepare your kids AND home for maximum back-to-school success.
Preparing Your Kids
Getting kids ready to go back to school has always been a bit challenging, but the pandemic has put “a bit challenging” on steroids. So make sure you are as well-informed as possible regarding what COVID-related protocols will be in place at your child’s school.
Next, talk to your child well in advance. Set aside a specific time—ideally a week or two before school starts—to have a focused conversation with them. Ask them such questions as “Are you excited? Do you feel prepared? Do you have questions?” Answer their questions thoroughly, and also let them know what their school-day routine will be like. This usually goes a long way toward alleviating any anxiety a child may feel.
Preparing Your Home
As you help transition your kids back to school, it’s important to transition your home as well. IT needs to be ready for the new school year, too.
A great place to start is with your child’s closet, so you can assess their clothing situation. Have your child try on all their clothes to make sure they still fit and are in good condition. For clothes that no longer “work,” create piles for hand-me-downs or for donating to such organizations as a Children’s Home or Good Will. Then make a list of any additional clothes or shoes your child will need for the new school year. Finally, gather all summer clothes—bathing suits, T-shirts, flip-flops, etc.—and store them in one place for easy access next year.
A Designated “Homework Zone”
One of the biggest challenges of back to school can be transitioning kids back to homework. You can help make the transition easier by creating for them a designated “Homework Zone,” then stocking it with whatever supplies they need. Experts say this is an excellent strategy for getting homework done more efficiently and with a minimum of distractions.
Finally … Don’t Forget Kitchen Prep
Planning for and preparing school lunches is one of the critical parts of back-to-school success. If you’ll often be making school lunches for your child, one smart trick is to organize your kitchen by creating a designated refrigerator and/or pantry space for school lunch supplies. Another smart “hack” is to prepare school lunches the night before each school day. If your child is of sufficient age, you can even turn this into a fun, educational, do-it-together moment!
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