. . .and all through the house, _________________________________________________.
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We are about to embark on the 2019-2020 school year and I am excited as ever! This year I will have a freshman, a 7th grader, and a 5th grader. Although my kids are older, I still practice many of the same activities to help prepare them for a smooth transition to the first day of school. Regardless if you are the parent of a new kindergartener, preschooler, or 8th grader the first day of school can be a bit anxious. Below are a few of my family’s end-of-summer rituals that help ease everyone’s transition of going back to school.
- We keep Labor Day Weekend low-key — very low-key. I know that some families have a traditional Labor Day Weekend event of camping or going out on the lake which truly sounds like a lot of fun. However, for my kids doing something that ends the summer with a big bang only creates more stress. They wouldn’t have the much needed two to three days to reset before the first day of school. I strongly recommend being in tune with your kids and paying attention to their emotional needs during Labor Day Weekend. If you have a child that needs to end on one last big hurrah of jet skiing or ziplining, then do it! However, if your children are similar to mine where keeping it low key and staying close to home sounds more relaxing, then allow them that quiet time.
- Make sure to check and double check the school supply list. There is nothing more stressful than to realize you’ve forgotten a much needed supply item only to find out that it’s been cleared from the shelves from all the major stores.
- Start taking the tags off of new backpacks and 1st-day-school clothes. I recommend laundering new school clothes before wearing them. Clothes will have a familiar detergent scent and feel softer if you’ve washed them before the first day. Pick out at least two new possible first day outfits.
- Take the first day of school picture the day before the first day of school. This will allow your child to get those “jitters”out. Plus, you can take as many as you want without feeling the time constraint of the bus about to arrive a child just itching to get out the door. And let’s be honest, you can always post the picture on the actual first day of school, no one will know you did it 24 hours prior unless you tell them.
- Make sure to wash all new lunch box totes or lunch containers. You’d be surprised how much time it takes in the morning to wash, rinse, and dry each individual lunch container if you find yourself in a rush.
- Start practicing going to bed earlier. Although it’s a rule in our house that 8 p.m. is lights out for school nights, it’s better to start the night time ritual around 7:30 p.m. to allow for quiet time and relaxation.
- Find out all possible routes to your school. Find out the streets that have short cuts, bus routes, and which seem busy during the morning/afternoon hours. Where are the streets that have the crossing guard? Crosswalks? Houses with unleashed dogs to avoid? Etc.
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