Make Back-to-School as Easy as ABC
by Tracey Pollack
In the lazy days of summer, the first day of school is surely the last thing on your mind. But with the school year around the corner (or already here in some areas), it’s time to get ready for school. Since it’s often a hectic time as kids adjust to new schedules and develop new routines, you can make it as stress-free as possible with these five clever ideas. From getting everyone up on time to taking the work out of homework, you can avoid the back-to-school chaos with these tips that make the grade.
- Update the Calendar
Make today the day to organize the calendar. Start by adding all of the kids’ practices, performances, holidays, game days, field trips and tests. Be sure to include the meetings, appointments, events and obligations for you and your spouse, too. By creating a shared calendar and keeping it up to date, the family can stay aware of everyone’s day-to-day activities and avoid last-minute surprises.
- Fall into Earlier Sleep Schedules
Families are in for a wake-up call when the school year rolls around. Staying up late and sleeping ‘til noon suddenly get replaced by early bedtimes and sunrise alarms. To make this transition less of a nightmare, slowly adjust your child’s bedtime and wake-up schedules. Up to two weeks before school starts, put your child to bed and wake them up an hour earlier each day. Then when it’s time to go back to school, they won’t fight to go back to bed.
- Wake-Up to Ready-Made Breakfasts
The morning rush doesn’t only happen on the highway. It happens every morning as families race to get out the door on time. Between packing the day’s lunches and looking for last night’s homework, there’s rarely time for a decent breakfast. Sure, we know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it’s just as important for it to be fast on manic mornings. To make sure that healthy breakfasts are always ready when you are, make them the night before. It’s as easy as layering cereal, fruit and yogurt into ready-to-mix parfaits or freezing a big batch of make-ahead breakfast sandwiches to quickly grab on the go. These fast, filling breakfasts will feed your need for morning meals.
- Keep Lunches in Easy Reach
On jam-packed weekday mornings, making lunches can make you late. But kids still need wholesome midday meals to help them perform at their best, so be smart about school lunches by doing as much as you can in advance. Keep a stash of pre-made sandwiches in the freezer, along with fruit cups in the fridge and bags of healthy snacks in the pantry. Grab one of each every morning to treat kids to lunches they’ll love.
- Work Out a Homework Space
Half of the work of homework is finding a distraction-free place to do it. Solve this pesky problem by assigning a special homework spot. Choose a quiet, comfortable space away from TVs, computers and noise so kids can focus on their studies. Keep the area stocked with supplies, such as pens, pencils, paper, scissors, markers and other materials. By having their own study spot, it’s easier and more enjoyable for your child to ace their homework.
With this handy cheat-sheet of back-to-school helpers, you’ll be able to handle the school year with total ease and class.