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Back to School! Tips for Making the Transition SMOOTH!

By Becky Danielson
Title: Back to School! Tips for Making the Transition SMOOTH!

The start of the school year can be rough on family life. Lazy summer days become busy with academics, sports, and club activities kicking into high gear. No matter what grade your child is entering, a few simple steps will help to make the transition smooth for both you and your child.

A well-established routine and good preparation will help everyone make the switch from summertime to school time. Consider sleep habits and family mealtimes. Determine where backpacks and school supplies are going to be kept. Decide on a homework spot. Preparing before the first day of school will get kids into the swing of the school year with ease.

Establish a Routine

Sleep Habits Start moving bedtime up by five or ten minutes each night to prepare for early mornings. Get your kids out of bed earlier too. An alarm clock is a helpful tool. Place it across the room from the bed so your child has to get up to turn it off.

Mealtimes Plan healthy breakfasts. Have the school lunch menu available and bag lunch supplies accessible. (A basket stocked with kid-friendly, nutritious snacks is good to have for children who have a classroom snack time. Kids can toss a snack into their backpacks easily.) Decide what time dinner will be served according to extra curricular activity schedules. Meals are a terrific time to catch up with everyone after a busy day.

Get the Right Gear Organized

School Supplies School supply lists are generally available weeks before school starts. Shop early when the selection is best. Take stock in what supplies can be used from the previous school year. Organize supplies in a predetermined homework area. My kids generally work in the kitchen. The computer with Internet access is available, school supplies are stocked in the kitchen desk, and I am handy to answer questions.

Backpacks and Schoolbags Take your child along to choose a new backpack. Have the child try on the backpack to make sure it's a good fit. Sometimes over-the-shoulder bags are more comfortable for kids than a traditional backpack. Make sure the zippers, buttons, and snaps are manageable. When you arrive home, label the interior of the bag with permanent marker. Select a place where school bags can be consistently hung. After homework is completed, bags should be packed with all necessary items and placed in the predetermined area. No one enjoys a last minute scramble to search for missing schoolwork or backpacks.

A little planning can go a long way in making a smooth transition! Take the time to get organized before the school year begins. Then breathe a sigh of relief when everyone is ready to go!


Becky Danielson, M.Ed., is wife and mom of two teenagers. She is a licensed Parent & Family Educator, co-founder of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting and the co-author of EMPOWERED PARENTS: Putting Faith First and Parenting Prose, a regular column in Marriage Magazine. She and her family live in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.  www.beckydanielson.com & www.1Corinthians13Parenting.com

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Categories:  Parenting Tips|Education

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