Stress Free Back to School

It’s quickly approaching that time of year: Back to School is upon us. If you’re anything like me, this time of year feels like a fresh start for many things: planning, organizing, cooking, goal setting and routines.  Perhaps it means getting the workspace in your home ready; maybe clearing out closets for the impending school year. It may be planning your child’s lunch and keeping to a new schedule; or just completing whatever shopping is needed, then sending your children off after a long summer!  

For those of you who have been faithful readers and followers (thank you!!!!!), you know I am a huge advocate for breaking things down, prioritizing to do lists, and streamlining processes!  The overall goal: a stress free back to school month. Yes, it can happen!  

Here are some simple, stress free Back to School tips!

  1. School sleep cycle – 2 weeks before school starts, have your child go to bed 15 minutes earlier each night until they are on their school sleep schedule.  If they are late sleepers in the morning (like mine), wake them 30 minutes earlier each day until the first day of school so they are able to wake up on their normal schedule. 
  2. School supply shopping – Plan ahead of time and think color coding for subjects, meaning one subject would have the same color folder, binder, etc.  For teens, this is a great opportunity for life skills! Give them their lists and set them free in the store with their own cart. Let them choose their supplies and have them be mindful of sales, prices, quality, functionality, etc.  For younger children, save yourself some mental stress and shop for one child at a time, one list at a time.
  3. Backpacks – Definitely allow your child to choose.  Explain what’s important in selection: quality, function, size, durability, pattern.  Lands’ End has all sizes of backpacks (by height of child) for all kinds of needs and you can personalize them as well.  They are super durable and last forever!  
  4. Lunches – If you pack lunches, plan a weekly calendar with your child and expand this over a month to streamline it.  This way, every week, the grocery list is simple, the same and you can save it!
  5. Planners – If your child uses a non-electronic planner, the one I highly highly recommend is the Order Out of Chaos academic planner.  It has been lauded for many awards and is the best academic planner on the market.  I even created a bunch of videos to show why I love it – you can find them on my Instagram or Facebook Page
  6. Clothing/uniforms – Set budgets and start looking for sales.  I’m not going to touch shopping ideas and websites as it’s a very personal choice!  Sales normally begin at the end of July/Early August so keep an eye out.
  7. Haircuts – Schedule your appointments during the first week in August.  Hairstylists will be very busy mid to late August, so make sure you get an appointment!
  8. School website – Check websites for any activities you can put on your calendar before school starts so you have an idea of the week/month at a glance for your children and family.  Start marking this in all the appropriate calendars and begin getting your schedules organized and communicated.
  9. Summer reading – If your children haven’t been reading over the summer, have them start reading in August.  Check out library books and begin getting them in the routine of quiet time, activating their memory, focusing on the words and charging their brains for the workload ahead.
  10. Math –  I know…I know… BUT get your children doing 20-30 minutes of math a day for the last few weeks of summer.  Some ideas: If you haven’t thrown out the work from last year, you can re-create quizzes, tests and worksheets from these; math activity books from any bookstore or educational store; math friendly apps or find printable worksheets online.  Our children lose working memory over the summer when they are not actively engaged with math. Allow them a seamless transition for math and have them work each day (20-30 minutes) for a few weeks leading up to the first day of school.  

I’d love to hear your ideas on how you make this transition as stress-free as possible!  Comment below.

With Much GrADDitude (and a fun back to school month!),