Summer has a way of running out of days much sooner than we ever expect, and back-to-school time always arrives before we’re ready. Easing from long summer days back to the grind of making lunches, helping with homework and getting the activities shuttle back into action can catch us off guard. Here are some tips to ease the transition and embrace the new season.
The night before school:
- Pack lunches and store them in the refrigerator (this will keep the items cool throughout the school day).
- Fill water bottles.
- Lay out clothes to make dressing in the morning a breeze. Get older kids in the habit of doing this, too.
- Organize backpacks to make sure your child can access everything they need during the school day.
- Set aside time in both your schedule and your child’s for homework.
- Unpack lunch boxes and wash re-usable containers; see more green tips for busy moms.
- Prepare a healthy snack for your child; see our kid-friendly recipes for some ideas.
- Designate a place in the kitchen for homework so you can help with any questions while preparing dinner.
- Substitute television time with outdoor play while it’s still light outside in the early evening; this will help work off energy and guarantee a great night of sleep. Tip: Try a family walk around the neighborhood after dinner–you’ll get your evening exercise in as well!
Talking with your child about his day is a great way to get a view into his world. Even little ones will talk about their friends at preschool when prompted. General questions like “how was your day” are often too broad for children, but asking, for example, if anyone cried today is a good way to learn about issues that are important to discuss (like bullying).
As always, finding time for ourselves is an important part of balancing the whole equation. Having the kids at school might be an opportunity for you to find more time for yourself to explore a new yoga class or a walking group.