The transition from carefree summer days, to the regimented daily routine of getting up on time and getting to school, is often met with resistance. Selling kids on the idea of sitting in a classroom, after having had months of free time is not easy, but by making it interactive and letting them make some decisions, the transition can happen with minimal resistance.
Tip # 1) Get The Youngsters Back On Schedule
After a summer of carefree frolicking, it is important that kids get back into the proper mindset and back on schedule. To that end, it is recommended that a week or two before school actually starts, parents should begin having “dress rehearsals”. Even though the kids are not yet going back to school, start them getting to bed at a set time, setting the alarm and having them get up and get ready as though they will be. This is a full dress rehearsal – Out of bed, face washed, teeth brushed, clothes on, breakfast eaten, all before the time they will soon need to be out the door. Practice makes perfect.
Tip # 2) Back-To-School Clothes
Over the summer, your little adorables may have been doing a little more than just playing; they may have been growing. This is especially important if possibly they were away at a camp, or spent most days at the beach or something similar. Unless they were wearing their school clothes every day, you may not have noticed they have outgrown a few items. Have them try on school clothes two to three weeks before they return to school, so you will have time to shop for new clothes as needed. There will be enough organic surprises, so go ahead and control the things you can. Also, make sure they are involved in choosing their first-day-of-school outfit; this may lead to them actually looking forward to the first day of school.
Tip # 3) School Supplies
Other than clothes, there are items kids will need in order to be properly prepared. Pencils, notebooks, backpacks, etc. A list can easily be made, and supplies purchased at a local retailer such as Target or Staples. As kids begin to grow up, their individuality becomes a bit more defined. Thus, things which were never an issue in the past, suddenly become an issue. Involve them in picking out the backpack which they feel defines them. Maybe they have graduated from TMNT to Marvel Superheroes, or their favorite color changed from red to blue, but they neglected to make their feelings public. These are important details before picking out a new backpack which they feel reflects upon their inner being. Also, this is a great way to keep them involved and interested.
Tip 4) Designated Area For Backpacks And Shoes
Parts of the morning scramble are unavoidable, but here is a good way to keep it somewhat under control. A must-use shoe rack for footwear, and a must-use area for backpacks. Kids lose things, it is just what they do. What one ingenious mother decided to do, was to invest in a small shoe rack, and convert an old bookshelf into a hanging rack for backpacks. The Bookshelf conversion was done by removing the shelves and nailing them to the back in order to create an enclosure. The bookshelf was then turned on end, and small hooks screwed into the converted shelves. This takes up little room and helps avoid some of the morning chaos. The ability top readily locate shoes and backpacks, is half the battle.
Tip 5) The Last Hurrah
Although it feels like it may last forever, summer eventually ends. As the end draws nigh, go ahead and give the kids one final show of affection before they get back to their version of the daily grind. This may be a trip to Disneyland, an epic day/night at the beach, or whatever they desire. Involve them in the decision-making process and also involve parents of some of their best friends. Letting them choose where they want to go, what they would like to do and with whom they would like to do it, goes a long way toward building a good bond. As it becomes tradition, they will look forward to it as their summer Super Bowl. It will also foster the building of great memories and lasting friendships.