Does anyone else feel as if the summer is flying by? As August is here now, many families are starting to make back to school lists and stores are rolling out the back-to-school items. Here are some tips to help the back to school transition a bit easier for your family.
1. The back to school schedule
- Approximately 3 weeks prior to school starting, begin transitioning the entire family to a school day bedtime/wake up schedule. For the first week, encourage your child to go to bed and wake up 15 minutes earlier . On the second week, aim for thirty minutes before scheduled bedtime and wake up time. When there is just one week left of summer vacation, encourage your entire family to go to bed and wake up on the normal work week schedule.
- Bedtime and wake up routines tend to go easier if mealtime routines are consistent, as well. Make mealtimes consistent with your the meal times during a school week.
- Begin to schedule quiet time periods during the morning, afternoon, and evening for reading, family game time, cross puzzles, and coloring activities. This will help children prepare themselves for long periods of sitting once school begins. During these time periods, you may want to implement a “no screen time” rule, where all TVs, computers, cell phones, and video game systems remain off.
2. Locate That Desk Again
- If your designated homework areas have become an abandoned dumping station over the summer, it’s time to de-clutter and organize a homework space for your children. Encourage your child to take part in organizing and decorating the space. Their interests may have changed over the summer and a fresh look is good for any age. This may also help your child become excited about going back to school.
- While your organizing a homework area, you may need to update your family central calendar to prepare it for the school year ahead.
3. Back to School Shopping
As a child, my favorite part about going back to school was shopping for new supplies. Prior to hitting the stores with your child’s school supply list in hand, go through their wardrobe to determine what is needed in terms of clothing.
- Plan your shopping trip around the time frames of your state’s designated tax-free back to school shopping dates, if applicable.
August 12-18, 2012
Purchases that qualify: School supplies costing $20.00 or less and clothing items and footwear that are $100.00 or less each are exempt from state sales tax. Please refer to the list of items eligible for exemption.
August 3-5, 2012
Purchases that qualify: Clothing and footwear that cost $100.00 or less are exempt from state and local sales tax. Please refer to the list of school supplies eligible for exemption
Currently Pennsylvania and Washington D.C. do not participate in a tax free back to school shopping event.
Check out these additional resources to help make your child’s transition back to school go smoother.
- Start thinking about transportation safety by reading these suggestions on how to talk to your child about remaining safe while walking, riding the bus or riding in a car to school.
If you pack your child’s lunch check out this article on How to plan lunches your kids will eat.
How do you get your family ready for back to school schedules and routines? What are your strengths and weaknesses?