Tips for Easing Into the Back to School Routine

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Starting the School Year Off Right

As summer vacation draws to a close, many parents and students begin to feel a little bit of anxiety about beginning the new school year. So how can you make this transition simple so that everyone is at ease? Here are some suggestions that will make a difference in your back to school routine.

Adjust Sleep Schedules

At least two weeks before school starts, start the daily school routine. Start sending your children to bed at the school bedtime and waking them at their school wake up time. I know this may sound silly but many times children have stayed up late and slept in during their time off. This always makes it much more difficult to be ready and focused for learning once school begins. Children start those first few days with their heads dragging all the way to school. My changing back into the school routine earlier, your child’s body will adjust in time for the first day of school.

Homework Tips

  • Find a quiet place to designate as your homework spot each day.
  • Set a time that homework will be done each day. Sometimes it's best to give kids a snack and a little break before starting homework.
  • Put homework in backpacks when it is complete to avoid it getting lost.
  • When working on long term projects, don't wait until the last minute to complete them.
  • In addition to the regular homework each night, set aside some time to read.

Get Organized

Make decisions about how you are going to handle things like homework. Where will the homework be completed? When? Where will the homework be placed when it is complete? All of these things seem like little details but often it is the little details that hang us up in the flow of everyday routines. If these are put in place from the start, everyone will know the expectations.

Visit the School

If this is a new school for your child, call the school and arrange a time that you can visit the school. Although it will not be likely that your child’s teacher will be in, it will give your child an opportunity get a feel for the school layout and perhaps have a chance to meet the principal before the first day of school. This can provide a great deal of comfort for your child on the first day.

Basic School Supply List

Supplies for School
Supplies for Home
sharpened pencils
sharpened pencils
a folder for each subject area
sharpener
a ruler with inches and centimeters
ruler with inches and centimeters
notebooks
dictionary
crayons/markers/colored pencils
crayons/markers/colored pencils
glue sticks
glue sticks
scissors
scissors
pencil box of some sort
container for supplies at home
two large erasers
lined paper
When shopping for school supplies, parents often just think about what to send to school. But it is important to have certain things on hand for homework as well.

School Supplies

Many schools will send out a list of the school supplies prior to the first day of school. If that is the case for your school, then you can have all of your supplies ready and labeled with your child’s name on it before starting school. If a list is not sent home prior to school starting, there are some basic supplies that can help you get started. Just be aware that you will probably need to make another trip to the store for some additional items that the teacher requests. Often these additional items would be for older students who have more involved curriculum expectations, things such as technology related items like a flash drive.

In addition to the supplies that might seem obvious to you, many teachers are now requesting items for the classroom. Due to budget cuts many schools are no longer supplying or severely limiting the amounts of things like tissue, hand sanitizer, bleach wipes, etc. Keep in mind that your child's teacher may ask you to donate some of these items.

Transportation

Talk about how he will get to and from school each day. If he will be riding the bus, find the bus stop ahead of time and discuss whether you will meet him at the stop after school or if he is to walk home. If he is being driven to school, talk about where he will meet you when school gets out.

Read a Book

Books are a great way to help ease the transition into a new situation is to read a book about it. Whether your child is just beginning kindergarten or if they are just returning to school from a summer vacation, read a book. It will help your child to remember that she is not alone. Everyone, even teachers, is a little nervous on the first day of school. It will provide a great opportunity to have a conversation about what your child's fears or concerns may be prior to that first day. You may even fin out that you are the one that has the fears and that your child is very excited!

On a personal note, my favorite story for the first day of school is The Kissing Hand. It is a delightful story of a raccoon who is scared to start school. The mother creates a delightful way of helping her son Chester adjust to that first day of school. Beware, it will tug on your heart strings!

The most important thing to remember is to keep yourself focused and organized to keep the back to school anxiety to minimum. The more prepared you are in the beginning, the less opportunity there is for frustration and stress to loom over everyone.

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Comments 26 comments

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Great advice! Thank goodness those days are over for me.


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

Oh, school supplies. I love buying them even though I am no longer in school. sleeping schedules are a big problem. When I first got my computer-I graduated before the internet became available to the general public-it was in my bedroom. there was no other room in the house where I could be undisturbed for hours at a time. Working in your bedroom is horrible. Even if I didn't have insomnia naturally, it would have interfered with my sleeping. wonderful ideas.


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 5 years ago from Western New York

I love The Kissing Hand - it is one of our favorites! I have one child starting kindergarten this year, and another starting Pre-K. Both of my babies go on the bus this year: I am sure there will be some tears! I'm waiting for my kids' supply lists to come in the mail - we have interesting supplies here in NY. For pre-K, kids need a dry erase board, for example, and for Kindergarten, kids need headphones (listening center use) and glue sticks!


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica

Wow, I love your detail and the advice is different from the norm. I really like the idea of getting the kids acclimatized to school conditions prior to the reopening of school.


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois

Lots of good tips here from an experienced teacher and parent. Voted up and useful.


cardelean profile image

cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Thanks WillStar, unfortunately I am just entering this phase!

Yes Flora, that's the same reason that they say you shouldn't have a tv in your room. Sleep schedules are always tough for me personally. Since having my children I am a very restless sleeper.

Leah, if I had my dream supply list I would put lots of things on there like that. Unfortunately I work in a very low income district and we struggle just to get parents to send in the basics. As for The Kissing Hand, it has always been a favorite of mine but last year my daughter's preschool did a really cool project with it. They read the story and then had the parents create a "kissing hand" for the kids to keep at school. You could include a note, pictures, etc. Then if the kids got homesick, they pulled them out for the kids to see.

Thanks Cardissa, I'm really glad to hear that you found it both detailed and different. I try to do this for myself but it's not always easy!

Thanks Aunt Danette, I appreciate your read, comment, and vote up!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 5 years ago from The Caribbean

Really, really good!


cardelean profile image

cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Thanks MsDora!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

Hi Cara-Hmmmm, interesting that the hub showed up AFTER company left, LOL. Seriously, it is a very useful hub with important tips that is sure to benefit families with school aged kids. Organization is the key, along with getting the kids (and parents) acclamated to the early waking schedule.

Rated up/useful/interesting. Oh, BTW-I love the Kissing Hand story as well. :) Miss you guys already.


cardelean profile image

cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Miss you too Mom and I actually got this one done while you were here. Just think of the Kissing Hand when you miss us! Thanks for the comment.


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

Fabulous Hub! Your point about sleep schedules is particularly useful- adjusting to the new school "time zone" EARLY really does help to deal with the inevitable back-to-school jetlag that seems to wash over schools as the new year starts!


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 5 years ago from Northern, California

Love the table and the homework tips--both give us some vital "snap-shot" advice. Really helpful work here.

Cheers~

K9


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Great tips for anyone easing back into the school routine! Thanks for sharing.


cardelean profile image

cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan Author

The sleep schedules are always a tough one for me Simone.

Too many late summer nights!

Thanks K9, I hope that people find it useful. Thanks for reading.

Yes Randomcreative, unfortunately it's almost that time again! Hopefully this will help others get into the swing of things before the big day.


jean2011 profile image

jean2011 5 years ago from Canada

useful and practical tips!


cardelean profile image

cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Thanks Jean! I appreciate you reading and commenting!


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

cardelean, GREAT read. Voted up, awesome, useful, beautiful and interesting. I envy your writing talent. Keep up the great work.


cardelean profile image

cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Thanks Kenneth, I appreciate such a kind compliment. I'm glad you enjoyed it!


jpcmc profile image

jpcmc 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

I remember the days when i had to drag my feet just to go to school after the summer break (or even a long weekend). These are very practical tips for parents. This definitely deserves a vote up!


cardelean profile image

cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Thanks jpcmc. Being a teacher I know exactly what you mean! It's hard to get out of that summer slump and back into the swing of school. I'm glad that you found these tips useful!


Janine Huldie profile image

Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

Very good advice here and in the past I was on the other end of this as a teacher, but this year my oldest is starting pre-school for the first time and will be having probably buy a few supplies for her. We have her orientation to meet her teacher in a few days, so I have pinned this for further help too!! Have also shared and voted up too!!


cardelean profile image

cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Thanks Janine for all of those wonderful shares! Both of my kids were in preschool last year and their day is shorter so this wasn't as much of a concern for us last year. This year my daughter starts kindergarten and it is all day. I have already told them that starting Monday it will be early bedtimes for everyone! It will be hard since the other kids will still be outside playing but I know it will be worth it in the long run.


Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 4 years ago from Hawaii

I'm dealing with back to school on both ends, even though I don't have any kids. I work with school kids, and I'm a grad student. I have to prepare to be around kids and manage my own time and school work, too.


ignugent17 profile image

ignugent17 4 years ago

Very useful tips and I would share this to all who are preparing for school.


cardelean profile image

cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan Author

I have the same situation Natashalh. I am a teacher but for the first time my daughter will be starting school (kindergarten) at the same time that I do. We are in the process of getting into our routine now. It can be a difficult balance but with some discipline, it can be done! Thanks for your visit. :)


cardelean profile image

cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Thanks so much ignugent17. I hope that others find it very useful as well.

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