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Going back to school? Here are some ways to get your kids ready for another successful year!

Updated on August 31, 2014

Back to school!


Back to school...again

It's that time again, another year of school. Early mornings, alarm clocks, breakfast, running for buses, school supplies, sports fees, gear, books, lunches, gets overwhelming, especially if you are a single parent, work full-time, or even if you are a traditional nuclear family and have the luxury to have one parent stay at home. This hustle and bustle just never ends!

So get ready and be prepared, give not only your child a head start, but yourself as well.

Getting kids ready

We rarely hear a kid shouting "yeah, summer is over, it's time to go back to school!" but it's life and their job is to go to school, get good grades, and finish college.

Two months before the first day of school, get your yearly supply list(s) and start looking for sales on school supplies. Even better, buy in bulk at the end of the previous year, it's never a bad idea to stock up. You can get a lot of supplies from the Dollar Tree, Marcs, Walmart, Target, Walgreens, even thrift stores for gym clothes, book bags or tennis shoes that don't need to be new. Look for coupons and sales. Haul your kids off on these trips. They should be included in gathering supplies. When age appropriate, give them the list and a budget to buy what they need.

Now is a good time to get clothing too. 5 pairs of pants is more than enough, and a combination of 10 shirts (5 long sleeve, 5 short), 2 skirts for girls, a nice belt, sneakers, dress shoes, 3 pairs of shorts, you get the idea. Hopefully you are lucky enough to have uniforms at your schools, they make life for parents much easier! If you don't have uniforms, invent your own. It does not mean your child has to wear the same thing every day, but certain clothing designated for "school only" is never a bad idea.

Sleeping in class

Avoid this!
Avoid this! | Source

Two weeks before the first day!

Two weeks before the first day of school, start winding your kids down. Freshen up on reading writing and math skills, even if only for 2-3 hours a week. Finish summer activities and start going to bed on "school time", waking up as if they were going to school is a good idea too. Most kids now-a-days are not getting the sleep they require, so getting into a routine before the first day is important.

If you have pre-teens, and have not already had the chat on puberty, now is also an ideal time to discuss with them the importance of proper hygiene and what to expect with their bodies as puberty arrives, this includes; the need for deodorant, shaving and feminine care for girls approaching menstruation. Save your kids the embarrassment of running into these issues in school, and have them feel confident and prepared, no matter when puberty strikes! Depending on the grade your child is entering, it's a good time to discuss or reiterate the importance of not using drugs as well. Sadly, this conversation should start by the age of 12, regardless of when school starts.

It's also a good time to discuss proper school and bus behavior.

How many hours of sleep do kids need?

Required nightly sleep
0-1 year
15-16 hours
1-3 yrs
12-14 hours
3-6 yrs
10-12 hours
7-12 yrs
10-12 hours
12-18 yrs
8-10 hours

One week before

One week before school starts, make sure you have schedules in order. Bus routes, kids are registered and enrolled, daycare/before and aftercare is arranged. Emergency lists should be available for kids that spend a few hours after school at home alone, as well as snack plans. Make sure school supplies are ready to get packed up.

Since summer tends to wreck normal eating habits, get your kids eating breakfast now. Even for kids that eat lightly in the morning, you can give them fruit, a bowl of cereal, a bagel, even nutritional shakes, oatmeal or smoothies. Do what is easy and works for your family, but don't skip breakfast.

Estimate of calorie needs by age

Daily Calorie Needs
Age female/male sedentary
5-8 yrs
8-12 yrs
13-18 yrs


Packed and ready to go
Packed and ready to go | Source

The night before school...

Have your kids pack up book bags and supplies, place them by the door, or wherever they get ready for school in the morning. Establishing chore lists is never a bad idea either.

By now, your kids should be waking up without issues, or only minor ones if any. So they should be physically adjusted to waking up earlier. They'll also be used to eating healthy and ready to start each day refreshed and full of energy to pack their brains full of knowledge.


1-2 months before first day
Get organized, get supplies
2 weeks
establish sleep, practice school work, have chats
1 week
manage lists and eat right
1 day
Make sure everyone is packed up and alarms are set

Make this year the best

Incorporate this schedule and your first few months with kids back in school should go pretty smoothly.


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    • Bishop55 profile image

      Rebecca 4 years ago from USA

      Thanks Janet and Truth. I feel like school is this huge ordeal and they are constantly doing projects and fundraisers and sports. My husband and I both work full-time, so we have to stay organized and have to be prepared for the first day. Time does fly,'re kids will be in school in no time, I'd say enjoy every minute they are home. I became a full time mommy to a 5 year old, two years ago. It's been real interesting. Still is. But he's a great kid, and I'm determined to raise a respectful, honest, hardworking man! :)

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 4 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Good ideas for getting ready for the school year. It makes a big difference if you are prepared and get your kids prepared. It makes the transition so much easier. Voted up and useful.

    • janetwrites profile image

      Janet Giessl 4 years ago from Georgia country

      This is a great and informative hub for parents who have schoolkids! I haven't schoolkids yet but time goes by so fast. In about two years my son will go to school.

    • Bishop55 profile image

      Rebecca 4 years ago from USA

      Thanks DDE! I am a FT stepparent and I really dread this time of year!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Great advice for parents trying to get their kids to school for another year, you have accomplished an informative and helpful hub