By Suann Bidwell, Owner of The Bidwell Group.
Here it is middle of August and a lot of parents are already thinking about back to school! In some parts of the country kids go back in mid to late August, and while September may seem far away it will be here before you know it! Here are some tips to help you and your kids ease back into the school routine without giving up summer fun.
- Summer reading. While not all kids have to read a summer book as a requirement for school, most schools encourage summer reading. Don’t wait until the last 2 weeks before school to start reading the book! Been there, done that, oh soooo stressful for you and your child. Start now if you haven’t already, have them read for an hour or two a day. This will give them (and you) a break during the day, and start to get them back into the swing of school type activities. You will find just reading an hour or two each day will get the book finished easily with enough time to still do fun things!
- Back to school shopping. Stores are already advertising for this, to get you to buy supplies and clothes now, not the week before school starts. And yes I have to admit that in the past I have always waited until the week before school to do this and then wished I hadn’t! Go shopping early! When you see an advertised sale, get the school supplies & clothes/uniforms and be done with it! This means less stress for you right before school. There are always last minute things to do right before school, why leave this undone! Also, the stores run out of some of the best stuff if you wait too long!
- Athletic Physicals. If your child plays a sport, then you know about the sports physical you have to do before school and the mounds of forms that have to be filled out! Well just a tip for those who are new to sports. I just learned this, make sure you check with your insurance company about the one physical a year rule. I just had this experience, made the appointment, went in to the doctors with 2 kids in tow, only to be told that we were in 3 weeks early and the insurance company would make us pay for the full physical unless we came back on the year anniversary of last years physical! Now I am not an expert on this, and can’t say all insurance companies are like this, but the girl in my kids pediatricians office tried to convince the insurance company(which shall remain nameless) to let us get the physical 15 days early, and they said NO! So back to the doctors we go in 3 weeks! So call first, so you don’t waste your time! And make sure you have all the forms filled out ahead and bring them! Most doctors won’t charge you for forms if you bring them to the physical.
- Bed time routine. What is this you say? Yes we are quilty here on that, it’s summer and the bed time routine has gone out the window! But just know if you don’t start to get back into the routine about 2-3 weeks before school (especially for the little ones) you (the parent) shall pay for this! You will have a tired cranky child, who is off schedule, and won’t want to get up! Yes, I know some kids can just adjust back, but I think for most of us, my kids included getting back into the routine is a must!
- Get organized. Yes, I know that is no fun! But do a little each day, and your life will be so much easier, and your child in the long run will be happier and easier to handle during this transition back to school. Things to organize; bedrooms, get their desks set up for doing homework (if no desk then give them an area they can do homework in), organize their closets (if they wear uniforms have a section in the closet just for those clothes), have an area when they come home where they put all their stuff (back packs, etc – we have cabinets in our laundry room for each of the kids to put their stuff- makes life easier), work station for mom/dad (keep a master calendar of all events, all school paperwork-put in separate folders for each child, etc.) A little planning now, less stress for you later!
- School Lunch or pack a lunch? Yes, I know you are saying it is July, why do I need to think of this now? Well some schools (our does) require you preorder lunch a few weeks ahead or at least sign up for the lunch program before school starts if you want your child to have the school lunch. If you pack, start thinking of menus, get your child involved (this may help insure they eat the lunch & help teach them a life skill!).
My last tip, enjoy the rest of summer with your kids! They grow up so fast and soon they are off to college! Make sure you carve in some family time; go to the beach, plan some day trips together, work on a project, eat dinner together (this is a hard one when you have teens!), go for a bike ride! The simplest times are often the ones the kids really love! Remember its not about how much money you spend on them, they want your time!
If you are feeling overwhelmed or just don’t feel like doing all the back to school shopping, let us help! The Bidwell Group can do all these errands for you and more. Check us out at www.thebidwellgroup.com Enjoy your kids & the rest of summer!