As a teacher, I obviously love school. But this time of year seems to tear my mind in two. One half is still holding on to every ounce of summer; thinking of bonfires, lake time, walking, reading, gardening and so on. The other half of my brain wants to buy school supplies and re-do my bulletin boards. I was in Target today thinking about buying school supplies. I started to grab stuff, then stopped, started, stopped and then just grabbed notebooks and ran. I do an interactive notebook so I know I will need them, but I was not ready to shop for my own children. That side of my brain was still not ready to admit it is here. But I know a transition is coming, as do my children, and sometimes that makes them a little weird. Here are a few tips for you to consider as you get your household ready for school.
Talk to your kids
Children get nervous for new experiences the same way adults do. They just may not be able to put into words how or what they are feeling. They know they like school, so when you ask them if they are nervous, they might reply no. But then they freak out about not having the right kind of crayons. So the new experience is probably causing them some anxiety. If they have an outburst or tantrum or are more emotional now than normal, it’s probably because they know some kind of a change is coming. Talking about their feelings, the plan for after school and what they will need to accomplish in the morning helps with structure and feeling prepared. If you are really so inclined, you can find some really cute things on Pinterest about a morning routine or you can make your own. But start having some conversations now about what is coming and letting your kids know you are right there with them.
Adjust your sleep
During the school year, we are pretty strict on bed times. Kids, teenagers, and adults all need proper sleep. Our children go to bed pretty close to 8:00 pm when they have to be up by 6:30 am. Hailey stays up a little bit later on nights she has practice, but the other nights we get her to bed too. (Otherwise, the preteen girl attitude is bigger if she gets tired!!) Jason and I are not too far behind the girls. Not because we are super strict on bed times for ourselves, but because we are tired!!!!
However, during the summer, we are not so strict on bedtimes. The girls are up much later than they should be and get to sleep in much later as well. Not to mention the adults in our house. It seems we watch way more Netflix and stay up later than we ever do during the school year. If this is the case in your house, you might want to start reigning the bedtimes back in. Otherwise the first time they have to go to bed by 8, they will not be tired and have trouble falling asleep. I don’t even want to think about having to get Harper up at 6:30 am. Scary!!!! The first week is stressful enough, everyone in your house doesn’t need to be super tired as well.
Get your supplies
If you have an elementary student, you are given very specific lists of what teachers want and you get everything on the list, even if you have to go to multiple stores. As a high school or middle school student or parent, you are not given as much direction on what to buy. Some high school and middle school teachers are very specific as to how they organize their world. I send an email home to all of my parents the week before school starts to tell them what their students need to be successful in my class. I don’t want my parents to buy a bunch of stuff they don’t need. If you have not heard anything, you may want to wait until after the first day. Send your student with a folder, notebook and something to write with. Then be ready to go shopping at night.
I know school supplies are expensive. If you are out of the stage in your life where you are buying school supplies each year, any teacher you know, will be giddy with excitement if you buy them school supplies, kleenex or disinfecting wipes!! I think teachers might love school supplies more than the holidays. No joke. The thought of sharpened pencils makes me happy. I can’t explain it. New markers and colored pencils in rainbow order, who doesn’t love that. Brand new clean notebooks….. Sorry….got a little excited there……back to the tips……
Plan the outfits for the first week of school
Most people plan the first day of school outfit, but what to wear the next day causes just as much stress. Plus, students will be more tired the second day of school than the first. The first has excitement, the second becomes reality. Having a plan for the week allows kids to have some choice. We actually pick out outfits every night or on Sundays for the whole week. The morning routine can be thrown off really quickly by standing in front of the closet trying to make a decision. Think about a five year old fashionista who has to coordinate everything, even the hair accessories. Welcome to my world……
Challenge Time!! It’s coming, whether we want to accept it or not. You don’t have to give up summer just yet, but start pondering this transition to the school year. Share one tip you have in your household for starting the school year off right. You can comment here or on our Facebook page, Speaking Jelinese. Your comments, likes and shares are so helpful to building our community of people trying to find balance, especially at this time of the year!!
Talk to you soon,