Back-to-school time is an exciting time of year for children and parents alike. Children get to return to their routine and see their friends every day; parents get to relax a bit and not worry about how to entertain their children every day.
But, as you may know, it’s also a stressful time. Kids have to adjust to a new schedule; they may be starting a new school; there are organizational challenges; you have to buy clothes and supplies.
In dealing with these challenges, organization and planning are key. Here are several ways to make back-to-school time as stress-free as possible!
- Create a central calendar
Your daughter’s piano lessons, your son’s soccer practice, family dentist appointments, playdates: there is a lot to keep track of. Creating a central calendar and writing down every important event will save you a huge amount of stress later. Consider buying a paper calendar with large squares where you can write everything for the day or week. There are also useful online calendars such as Google Calendar. Tools like color coding can make the calendar even more organized.
- Prepare a study area in your house
Create an area in your house where kids can go to do homework or school projects, and make the area distraction-free. If your kids aren’t old enough to have homework yet, it can still be an area for them to draw, play music, or make something quietly.
- Make your mornings calm
As you know, mornings before school can be quite chaotic. Reduce the stress by planning ahead the night before. Pick out your children’s clothes, make sure they have everything they need for school the next day, set the table for breakfast, and so forth.
What’s more, if there is conflict over bathroom use in the morning, consider making a bathroom schedule so each family member has a designated time in the bathroom.
- Collect important papers
The beginning of the schoolyear always seems to bring a deluge of papers and documents; try to organize all important papers at the beginning of the schoolyear. Gather all report cards, immunization records, proof of medical exams, and everything else you can think of and keep them in one central location.
- Make healthy meals
This should always be a priority, of course, but it’s especially important during back-to-school time when stress levels are higher and children are adjusting to the new schedule. Studies show that children who eat healthy breakfasts and lunches do better in school.
Although it’s impossible to avoid back-to-school stress completely, planning ahead and getting organized at the beginning of the school year starts can save your whole family a lot of time and anxiety. Have a safe and happy back-to-school period!