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Getting Ready for Back to School

Before you know it, summer will be coming to an end and it will be time to prepare the kids to go back to school. The start of a new school year is exciting, but it can also be overwhelming for parents. Here are four steps to ensure a smoother transition from summer days to school days.

1. Take a look ahead. Start by taking a look at your upcoming schedule. Make sure you know what time school starts and ends, where to go, and how long it takes to get there. If you have children in more than one school, make sure that you address any possible conflicts in your pick-up and drop-off schedules. Look through the school calendars and take note of important dates and mark them on your family calendar. Make sure older kids know what their day will look like. Will the kids take the bus, walk home, or will you pick them up from school? Do you need to set up after-school care? Having a plan makes parents and kids feel much more at ease as the first day of school approaches.

2. Adjust bedtime. Many families become more relaxed over the summer. The kids may have adjusted to staying up later and sleeping in during the summer months, and adjusting to a school routine can be difficult. Several weeks before school starts, it is wise to start adjusting their bedtime and wake-up times so that when school begins, they are rested and ready for their new schedule. Easing into it by moving bedtime back just 15 minutes a week makes the adjustment easier.

3. Get the supplies. Acquire a list of school supplies your child will need from your school. Check the house to see if you have any items on-hand and make a list of what you need. Head to the store early to assure the best selection and that the supplies are not already picked over. Many stores sell school supplies at deep discounts before school starts, and it may be wise to grab a few extra items to save for later.

4. Try on clothes and shoes. When school begins the weather often feels like summer but temperatures can quickly drop as fall approaches. Have your kids try on their fall and winter clothes to see if new items are needed. Often kids spend most of the summer barefoot or in sandals so don’t forget to make sure their athletic shoes still fit before it’s time for the first P.E. class.

With these items taken care of, your child will be all set for a successful start of the school year.

Fun lunch box ideas

Are the kids tired of eating the same sandwich every day? Think outside the lunch box and try these fun ideas:

  • Wrap it up! Try a tortilla with meat, cheese, and veggies inside. Get creative with different combinations and sauces.

  • Hot lunch. Purchase a leak-proof thermos and send soup or pasta.

  • Salad. Send a pasta or lettuce salad for a fresh change.

  • Dip it! Dips are fun to eat. Try crackers or veggies with hummus; chips and guacamole or salsa; veggies with ranch; or apples and peanut butter.

  • Leftovers. Use up last night’s leftovers and send it to school. Pizza, chicken, and pasta are always a big hit.

  • Different sandwich. Try putting lunchmeat and cheese on a bun or on a submarine sandwich instead of using slices of bread.

  • Crackers with meat and cheese. Make your own healthier version rather than buying those expensive pre-packaged varieties.

  • Kabobs. Use toothpicks or small skewers to make kid-friendly kabobs: meat, cheese, grapes, or cherry tomatoes are some fun ideas.

  • Quesadillas. Fun to eat and easy to make.

  • Breakfast for lunch. Consider sending your child’s favorite breakfast item in their lunchbox. 

Sarah is a freelance writer, wife, and mother of six. 

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