Kiss those lazy days of summer goodbye! It’s time to gear up for the hectic pace of back-to-school. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Make a morning schedule. Start with each family member’s go-out-the-door time, account for individual morning personalities, then work backward to decide what times and in what order each person needs to wake, wash, dress, eat, and get moving.
Gather key information: insurance cards, doctor and dentist contact information, emergency phone numbers, etc. This will make updating forms a snap. Do all the inevitable school paperwork right away in one fell swoop. If you wait, teachers will be less likely to collect them, and you’ll find the papers months later languishing in your child’s backpack! While you’re at it, book kids’ appointments for the year before all the afterschool time slots fill up.
Find space in your home to create a dedicated homework station where kids can easily find everything they need to complete assignments. Stock up with plenty of paper, pens, colored pencils, rulers, protractors, compasses, calculators, blank flashcards, dictionaries, periodic tables – anything age appropriate for what they will be learning. Teachers often pool supplies you send to school, so don’t count on your kids having possession of their own list supplies after day one.
Bookmark school and teacher web pages. While you’re at it, enter numbers such as school nurse, absence-reporting line, and so forth into your mobile phone. Consider setting unique ringtones, so you will always be alert to important calls coming from school.
Create a tardy/dismissal note template that you can quickly update with specific details (child, time, reason), print out, sign, and hand to your child as they dash out the door.
Consider creating a family digital calendar that can be shared to partners and older children’s phones. Enter all afterschool activities such as music lessons, sports, babysitting dates, and so forth so everyone in the family always knows where everyone else is supposed to be. If you carpool, make separate driving-duty calendars to share with friends, eliminating lots of back and forth emails and text messaging.