Back to School Survival
The alarms are being set, the somber sun-kissed children come down the stairs and if you are like me, you are thinking? Wait, summer is over? The days of sleeping in, walking to the neighborhood pool for leisure swim days, attending camps and scheduled-out play dates are coming to an end and it is time to make the transition into school mode.
With all of us working hard to make this transition a smooth one, we have come up with a back to school survival checklist for parents.
- Welcome to the cesspool - grab some small hand sanitizer that can easily be accessed in a locker or attached to a backpack. The germs are back and if full force and you never know when your kids will have a chance to run to the bathroom.
- No lice please - buy some hair glossing oil (a few bucks at Walmart, Walgreens or pretty much anywhere). In some areas, lice is a problem that is hard to prevent. One easy solution is to apply glossing oil when brushing their hair in the morning. Their hair will smell wonderful, look great and the lice can’t stick (this trick has saved us and came from a lice removal specialist).
- Schedules - get access to all of the school schedules, half days, vacation days, picture days etc. Put those dates on a google calendar and give your family access, maybe even invite grandparents or nannies to the calendar so that everyone knows what is happening.
- Lock down devices - check with your phone provider to make sure that phone access is limited to before class, during lunch and after school. You want those kiddos to be focused (unless they are capturing photos of their awesome science experiment on Kudos, that is allowed).
- Be prepared - hit up the travel section of your grocery store for deodorant, wipes, brush, toothbrush, toothpaste, body spray, band aids, lotion and chapstick. For middle school girls, make sure they have an emergency pack of female products such as pads, tampons, a little instruction card and a piece of chocolate, because they deserve it. Put the items in a small pencil bag or other small carrying case that can fit into a backpack or locker).
- Moms should be prepared too - pack all lunches the night before and layout the things everyone needs.
- Set routines - set up a specific area, perhaps with coat hooks where the backpacks are to go. Make it a routine that the kids put any papers or info from the school on a particular area each day like the refrigerator or a special place on your home desk. Same for those lunch bags. Start a routine now that can be replicated each day.
- Get homework-ready - give the kids a place where they can spread out and do their homework with pencils, rulers, scissors, post its and other items readily accessible.
- Snack attack - be ready for these kids to walk through the doors with unimaginable hunger. Stock up with yogurt, fruit, snack bars, popcorn or other items that won’t spoil dinner but will help diffuse the starved zombie-like behavior.
- Ready for a rainy day- depending on where you live, you may want to create a bag of activities for those days where it is too cold or rainy to go outside. Consider a lego kit, card games, coloring books and markers or a small craft.
- Dinner Chat - make dinner time the time for everyone to share the highlights of their day. Ask for one new thing that they learned or perhaps a fact that maybe the rest of the family may not know. This will keep you in the loop, understand what is being studied and gives your students something to be proud of.