Believe it or not, it’s time to start thinking about the upcoming school year! Yes, in just a few short weeks the sounds of school bells will be ringing in your ears and you’ll be back to the familiar routine of making lunches, driving carpool, and checking over homework once again.
Although you may be enjoying your summer and don’t want to think about all that needs to be done before the school bus stops in front of your house, taking the time to prepare early can make a huge impact and get your year started on the right track.
Beat the rush
While you may be moving at a leisurely pace now, as the start of school draws near it seems that the crowds and craziness requires you to rush a little more. To beat the rush, consider taking a few pre-emptive measures:
- Take an inventory of what you already have and can re-use this upcoming school year. Go through your kid’s clothes and school supplies and determine what will still fit or work. There’s no point in purchasing more when you already have enough, or have items that are still in good working condition.
- Create a list of what is needed. Based on your inventory intake, make a detailed list of what clothes and school supplies you’ll need to buy for the new school year (click here to download a shopping template to use). By having a comprehensive list of everything you need to purchase means you can shop quickly, and save money as you watch for sales or coupons for the things you’re going to buy.
- Shop now. Maybe you haven’t noticed, but TV commercials are already popping up with back to school advertisements and stores are showcasing their school supplies on every aisle. With your clothes/supplies list in hand, take advantage of the empty stores by shopping now, rather than waiting for the start of school. You may still have to pick up a few things later on, but you can avoid most of the crowds and long lines if you get a jumpstart on your shopping while everyone else is still hanging out by the pool.
- Arrange for any necessary doctor appointments. Immunizations, physicals, and eye exams may be required for your child this year, so identify which ones you’ll need and make your appointments ahead of time. The closer it gets to the start of school, the more difficult it is to get in to see a doctor.
Get your house ready
Having a well prepared home can help the school year run even smoother for you and your child. Taking the time to organize yourself, your calendar, and your spaces now can make every school day an A+ kind of day!
- Sort and purge. Go through your papers and get rid of anything from the last school year including calendars, class/team rosters, and activity schedules. Start with a clean slate and don’t confuse yourself by relying on information that’s out of date.
- Set up a system for paper intake. Dedicate a space in your home for all the school papers that will be pouring in for the school year. Whether it’s a simple file box with a designated folder for each child, an art box for their masterpieces, or a full fledge command center, having one spot for all of it can minimize stress and make finding what you need easier and within quick reach.
- Designate or create a homework center. Decide on a place where your child can study and do homework and begin to stock it with all that he/she will need for that A+ paper. By having a designated study spot you can reclaim your dining room table for meals and your child will know exactly where to find extra supplies and not waste precious time searching for them.
- Mark your calendar. Most schools already have their entire year’s calendar available for you to look at. Take the time to mark upcoming holidays/days off, early dismissals, teacher in-services, or parent conference days on your calendar now. You may not have detailed information for science fairs or sporting events, but you can be ahead of the game by having a general idea of what’s going on and when.
Create a landing zone. Avoid the “Where’s my backpack (shoes, jacket)?” question each morning by creating a landing zone for easy exits and entries into your home. Hang hooks for backpacks and jackets above a small bench with cubbies for shoes near the door you most frequently use. Setting up a simple, yet efficient, launch zone lets you to leave the treasure hunts for parties and weekend fun, and the kids will always know where their stuff belongs.
Whether you are dreading the start of school or can’t wait for it to begin, now is the time to prepare for it. Working through these nine tasks will help you avoid the back-to-school madness and make your school year stellar!
Which of these tasks will you start working on now to help make your school year great?
Do you have any other pre-school preparations that you do so you aren’t rushed to start the school year? I’d love to hear about them ~ leave me a comment and let me know!