Heading back to school can create some turbulent times for students. It’s difficult to say goodbye to the sunny freedoms of summer and settle in for another year of study and hard work. Thoughtful planning can make a big difference between a smooth transition and a rocky road into the new school year. Though you may not see the enthusiasm that you’d like from your kids, there are several things you can do to minimize their concerns and emphasize the best parts of heading back to school.
Get Smart About School Supplies
Purchasing back-to-school supplies is a big job and often a big expense, but there are several things you can do to simplify and streamline the process. Start by shopping your home. Scour your kids’ rooms for leftover supplies from the previous year. You may be surprised at the number of notebooks that have come back with just a few pages used. You can easily remove these and reuse the supplies. Pens, pencils, rulers, binders, and art boxes also need not be brand new.
Many states, including Texas, have a tax-free weekend for back-to-school shopping. Mark this date on your calendar and shop for supplies you still need then to save on your purchases. For Texas, the 2023 tax break takes place from Aug. 11 to 13.
Prep Fast and Easy Meals
Getting back into the school routine can present some challenges for busy families. Stock up on easy breakfasts to ensure that everyone gets something to eat before they’re headed out the door. Think granola bars, overnight oats, or make-ahead muffins. If you want to serve something special for the first day of school, consider an overnight casserole. This way, you can prep the evening before and simply put breakfast in the oven while you get the kids up and ready the next morning.
Stock up on easy lunch options as well. Simple sides, such as applesauce cups, yogurt cups, bags of chips, individually packaged cookies, and juice boxes, make it easy to put together a meal in no time. You can also plan ahead for easy packaging. Reusable sandwich wraps are a convenient option for subs and wraps. If your child prefers hot, hearty entrees, such as chili or soup, invest in a quality thermos to keep it tasting great till lunchtime.
Make Time for Back-to-School Night
Back-to-school night is an important event, giving children the chance to go through a dry run of their first day of school before they’re off on their own. If you have small children, back-to-school night provides a chance for you to help cart in heavy bags of school supplies while your kids get to locate their desks and meet the teacher.
Older children may be old pros at some of the school routines, but they can still benefit from a preparatory visit to school. Those who change classes throughout the day can locate each room, map out the best routes, and practice their locker combination a few times.
Visiting the school with parents in tow provides the perfect opportunity for students at all stages to confront any concerns that they may have. In most cases, they’ll find their fears unfounded and feel much better after stopping in and getting a preview of how the new school year will unfold.
Reconnect With Friends Early
It’s difficult to get kids excited about returning to classes and homework, but they may be looking forward to seeing their friends again. Help rekindle those relationships from the previous year by making a mindful effort to keep kids in touch over the summer. If you’ve fallen short of this goal, use the week or two leading up to school to make up for lost time. Host a cookout and invite several classroom families to attend so the kids can reconnect. This is also a good time for parents to reconnect and strengthen the village behind those kids.
If you’re not up to hosting an event yourself, locate an ice cream shop near the school and invite some of your child’s friends to stop by after back-to-school night. If you don’t have contact information for everyone, you can even issue casual invites on the spot while you’re touring the school.
Adjust Your Schedule in Advance
It can take time to get back into the school day routine, particularly if you’ve had the opportunity to sleep in and enjoy a more laid-back lifestyle over the summer. Don’t attempt to cannonball back into the early morning bustle without a little preparation. Dip your toes in first by slowly dialing back bedtime and getting the kids up earlier in the mornings. Try adjusting your sleep and wake times by just 15 to 20 minutes a night until you’re back on track.
Next, tackle the finer points of your morning to-dos. Do you need to clear off a place for your kids to lay out clothes the night before? Will there be adjustments to shower and bathing routines? If your kids are starting at different schools or times than the previous year, you might need to figure out who gets to brush their teeth first to best accommodate an updated timeline. Plan to give yourself at least 15 extra minutes on the first few days of school so you’re not rushed if things don’t go quite as smoothly as you’d hoped.
Prepare For the Commute
If you drive your kids to school, now is the perfect time to schedule a tune-up for your daily driver. Clean out the car and make sure that everything is fresh and ready for your back-to-school transition. If your vehicle doesn’t quite meet your needs anymore, consider whether this is the year for an upgrade. At Huffines Chevrolet Lewisville, we have a wide selection of new-to-you used vehicles and brand-new cars in stock to help you take the morning commute to a whole new level. Visit us today and see what’s on the lot.