I think it’s safe to say just about every member of every family would agree that the first week of September is one of the worst of the year. Kids have to say goodbye to long days lounging on the couch playing video games, evening soccer games, and their favourite summer camp, and parents have to say goodbye to cottages, camping trips, and barbecues. Worse than leaving all of that behind, though, is having to gear back up for the return to school. Kids may feel they’re the ones getting the short end of the stick, forced back into cramped classrooms and daydreaming of summers days gone past, but any parent who’s gone through the back to school routine a couple of times knows they’re the ones facing the real challenges. For parents, back to school means packing lunches, buying new school supplies, and organizing the endless supply of homework and notebooks strewn about the house. To help all the stressed, overworked parents out there through these difficult times, Ridofit’s compiled 5 simple tips for a smooth transition back to school.
1. Recycle old supplies. Have your son/daughter dredge up and organize last year’s school supplies. Too often kids insist on replacing last year’s supplies with the latest and greatest books, markers, and backpacks, and when you don’t know that they actually do and don’t have, left from last year, it can be hard to say no, so don’t let them off the hook easily! More often than not, they have perfectly good supplies that can carry over from the previous year and tapping into those reserves will help keep you from breaking the back to school bank.
2. Don’t leave shopping til the Last Minute. It’s always tough to find time for excursions as involved as back-to-school shopping, but getting it over with as early as possible is sure to lighten the load a little. The closer we get to the first day back, the busier the stores will be and the fewer supplies will be left. Take some initiative and get out there ahead of time and you won’t regret it.
3. Organize, organize, organize. It can be difficult to keep your kids’ school stuff in order, especially at the start of the year with added challenges like the seemingly endless stream of handouts and the time it takes to get back into old routines, but keeping things organized from the get-go with bins, folders, binders, and more, will get you into good habits for the rest of the year and good habits are easier to maintain than hard habits are to break.
4. Invest in quality products. It can be tempting to take the path of least resistance when picking up school and organizational supplies for the school year, but making a slightly larger investment upfront can pay huge dividends down the line. Having a backpack, binder, or desk set break down mid-way through the year could cause serious problems and investing just a little bit more up front to reduce that risk is the safe bet.
5. Set up a family calendar. Don’t limit back-to-school organization to your children’s things, it’s just as if not more important to organize day-to-day and week-to-week schedules as well. A new school year will bring new commitments for your kids and your schedule probably isn’t getting any lighter. In the interest of keeping everyone sane and finding family time amidst the chaos, have everyone pencil in their schedules on a dry-erase or large format calendar, It’ll make it much easier for everyone to keep up with their personal, professional and family commitments.
Now we know you might not want to, but get out there and get back on that horse. If you go into the school year adequately prepared it’ll breeze by and you’ll be back to those long relaxing summer days in no time.