You Can Create a Hassle Free Back to School!

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The girls and I just returned from a wonderful mother-daughter vacation. We visited 5 prospective universities and drove over 3000 miles visiting 5 states! We spent time relaxing, reading, floating rivers, site seeing, and enjoying lots of family and friends. And now, here we are, back to reality! I have a pile of bills on my desk, papers to manage, phone calls to return, emails to answer, laundry to do, shopping and meal planning, and the list goes on and on… But at the top of my list, and I’m sure at the top of yours right now, is the preparation it takes to make the back to school season a huge success for our family. It’s time to get everyone back on a routine and feeling comfortable and confident that we all have what we need to be a successful team player in our home as school begins.

I want to share with you a punch list of the things we do each year in our home to prepare for the shock of that morning alarm clock and the endless days of activity and excitement that come with the first day of school:

  • Make adjustments to bed times now. (did you know, teenagers need 9.5 hours of sleep per night) A great way to do this is to start the week before school begins and make a plan to go to bed 15 or 20 minutes earlier each night until you are back to your set bedtime. This will help minimize the morning struggle too!
  • Get those school supplies ready! Most schools make available a list of items each student will need.
  • Set up a homework area. This space should be comfortable, well lit, free from distraction and equipped with the tools and supplies each student needs to successfully complete their homework. Music might be nice too!
  • Stock the pantry with healthy snacks and non-sugary drinks. If your house is anything like mine you might also have to be prepared for the impromptu homework party with starving teenagers!
  • Have a family meeting to discuss everyone’s new schedules, and what that means to family meal times and transportation needs.
  • Work together to create a household job list and ask for each family to volunteer to do one or two jobs each day. This makes your home run more smoothly and gives kids the opportunity to learn cooperation and responsibility.
  • Be an active participant in your child’s education. Show them you care by asking specific questions about their day. Stay informed about their academics as well as their social activities without smothering them or being in charge! Remember, the number one predictor of learning success is parent involvement.

As I close I want to leave you with a couple of questions about this school year. What one life skill or characteristic would you like your child or teen to learn this year? What will it take for you to support that learning?

I would love for you to share what it is you do to prepare your family for a successful back to school, so please feel free to leave a comment.

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