As the warm days of summer draw to a close, it’s time to bid farewell to lazy afternoons and embrace the anticipation of a new school year. While the transition from carefree summer days to the structured routine of school can feel daunting, it’s also an exciting time filled with possibilities. Here are some things you and your family can do to prepare for a new school year!
Establish a School-Year Routine:
One of the keys to a successful school year is establishing a routine. Begin gradually transitioning your family back into a structured schedule that aligns with school days. Gradually adjust bedtimes and wake-up times, reintroduce regular meal times, and establish consistent homework or study periods. This gradual transition will make the adjustment smoother for everyone. This is something we’ve tried to do each year, and it’s REALLY helped us!
Organize and Update:
As you prepare for the new school year, take the opportunity to organize and update important documents and information. Review and update emergency contact lists, school policies, and medical information for each family member. Make sure school forms are completed and submitted, ensuring a seamless start to the academic year. Most years I even go ahead and look at the academic calendar and pencil in days off and holiday breaks. We love using a large monthly calendar to put up in our kitchen where we can all see what’s ahead.
Sort and Refresh Supplies:
Gather school supplies from the previous year and sort through them. Identify what can be reused, such as backpacks, lunch boxes, and binders. Make a list of needed supplies and take advantage of back-to-school sales to replenish items such as pens, notebooks, and art materials. Involve your children in the process, as they may have specific preferences for their school supplies. To us, this is probably the most FUN part of getting ready for a new school year!
Plan for Healthy Meals:
Preparing nutritious meals is essential for fueling your family’s academic success. Start by creating a weekly meal plan that includes balanced breakfasts, lunches, and snacks. Involve your children in meal planning and grocery shopping, empowering them to make healthy choices. Preparing and freezing meals in advance can also save time during busy school days. Some meals are just easier to make during those busy school weeks, having a list of go-to meals already prepared really helps out!
Set Goals and Expectations:
Discuss goals and expectations for the upcoming school year with your children. Encourage them to think about what they would like to achieve academically, socially, and personally. Set realistic and measurable goals together, and discuss strategies for achieving them. This exercise helps create a sense of purpose and motivation as the school year begins. This can be done for anyone attending school or homeschooling families.
Foster Open Communication:
Create an environment of open communication by encouraging your children to express their thoughts and concerns about the upcoming school year. Listen attentively and validate their emotions. Address any worries or anxieties they may have and offer support and reassurance. Building a foundation of trust and open dialogue strengthens the parent-child relationship. My kids are always excited for a new year to start, but can’t help feeling a little nervous. I know that Harper’s going to have a LOT of new emotions this year as she enters Kindergarten!
Celebrate the Transition:
As you prepare for the new school year, celebrate the transition from summer to school. Plan a special end-of-summer activity, such as a family outing or a picnic, to mark the occasion. Emphasize the positive aspects of the school year, like reconnecting with friends, new learning opportunities, and exciting extracurricular activities.
Transitioning from the end of summer to a new school year can be both bittersweet and exciting. By reflecting on summer memories, establishing routines, organizing supplies, and fostering open communication, you can create a positive and supportive environment for your family. Embrace the possibilities that lie ahead, and together, prepare for a WONDERFUL school year!