Summer is coming to a close, which means the race to get ready for another year of learning is on the horizon. Get a head start on September with these five tips for a smooth start to the school year.
Get your morning routine down (all of you)
Now that you can hear the schools bells ringing in the distance, it’s about time to start up your morning routine. Over the summer you may have been lucky enough to be off taxi duty and enjoying some additional snooze time. Slowly start with getting yourself and the kids up a little earlier each morning, until your reach your “target time”…ease yourself into it. It will make the adjustment much more pleasant. Next, ensure everything you need for your mornings is ready to go the night before – pre-pack the lunches (see below) and have everyone’s outfits picked out if that’s a time waster. Last, don’t forget about all the other families heading back to school so add on some extra time for traffic.
Set up a homework space and time
Create an area for your kids to get in the zone and complete their homework or do some studying. Whether it’s a desk in their room, the home office, or the kitchen table – having all their supplies ready and organized at home will make everyone’s evenings a little less stressful. Block off a chunk of time for this each day to stay on top of reading and projects because they will start pouring in before you know it!
Tip: make a portable study station by building a little cubical for your kids like this one here.
Reset your internal clocks
The endless daylight that summer brings makes bedtime a difficulty. As the days are getting darker, make a family effort of heading to bed sooner than you usually would. Power down 30 minutes earlier by shutting off the TV and the lights and starting your evening routines. Read a book together or do a puzzle to bring the mood down. After a few nights it will seem like the norm. Now only if getting up in the morning were this easy…
Plan your lunches
With a bit of planning, lunches for the family can be a walk in the park. Brainstorm menu options for the week with your children’s assistance, then get everyone to lend a helping hand to assemble. This gives you the opportunity to enjoy more time together, talk about healthy eating choices, and build on skills for the future. At the same time, make something for yourself so you’re not running out for a cheeseburger at lunch while the kids are eating turkey and cheddar pinwheels with veggies and hummus.
Organization is key
Spend an afternoon before the schoolyear begins and get organized. Take this opportunity to turn over a new leaf. Sort through the old clothes and make piles for keep and donate. Recycle anything that cannot be used anymore by your family (check out the Edmonton Reuse Centre here for locations to donate used goods). If you have a mudroom or closet near your entry, get it set up with a command centre for backpack drop-off, coats, shoes, lunch bags, and more. Set up a folder for handouts and permission slips so they don’t get lost in any clutter. By keep everything you need in one place, you will be ready to roll in the morning.
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