Ok, folks, it’s back-to-school time and it’s the first official back-to-school for this mama. My daughter will be starting a TK program (sob!) this Fall and, as the Type A person I am, I wanted to get a head start on back-to-school prep. Where to get the absolute best advice? The mom hive, of course! I reached out to my mom groups and got some fantastic back-to-school prep suggestions that I want to share with you.
What can mom do to prep for back-to-school?
- Get labels for EVERYTHING! (LeAnna)
- Buy a backpack and lunchbox. Make a big deal about it and let your kiddo pick it out himself. Wendy suggests getting least two lunch boxes as it won’t always make it home. The ones with ice packs make to easier to send things that could spoil. Also, get several water bottles to rotate out while cleaning.
- If the new school has scheduled play dates ahead of time, go to them. (Tanya)
- Make lunches and pick outfits (including shoes) the night before.
- Have a designated hook at front door for backpack and jackets.
- I have a calendar hanging in a central area to keep track of school stuff/family commitments. It’s old school vs. digital calendar but I find the school stuff gets lost in my work calendar, so I have a separate calendar in the kitchen to keep track of birthday parties, back to school night etc. (Karina)
- Have patience. They will be exhausted. They will be holding their emotional selves together longer than normal. They may be more cranky or emotional or just want to nap even though they may not have napped in years.
- On the 1st day of school and at drop offs and pick-ups introduce yourself to other parents. Get to know the parents to start creating your community as playdates will be asked for by your kiddos. Also, if you are running behind one day you have some friends to call to wait with your little one. (Monica)
- Join the PTSO/ PTA and stay active and involved. (Elizabeth)
- Put together a bag with a backup emergency change of clothes and snack to leave at school. Without fail it will come in handy. Include a picture of your family in case they get sad.
- Don’t forget to bring your teacher and aides treats. Even the smallest things make them happy. And the kids bringing it is such a great way for them to show their appreciation. (Wendy)
- Make a new contact in your phone with school and teacher info, including email and any apps they may use. (Shersy)
- Establish a routine and stick to it as much as possible (dinner time, bed time, wake time). (Gina)
How can we help prepare the kids for success at school?
- Read books about school.
- Practice going to the bathroom alone…especially wiping and washing hands.
- Practiced making new friends by saying things like. “Hi, my name is ____. What’s your name? Do you want to play?”
- I told my son that he was not supposed to already know how to do things and that is why he gets to go to school to learn. (Tanya)
- If you know anyone else that will be at the school (even if a different grade), a playdate or meeting them at the school playground would help!
- Go to the school playground to get familiar with the school. (Erika)
- If they are not an early riser, start practicing waking up earlier which may also mean an earlier bedtime. (Monica)
- For the first couple days, give your child something personal and meaningful to you and tell them to keep it safe until you pick them up. This helps them understand that you'll be coming back. Put on a smile even if you're panicking inside. Make sure you say goodbye and don't just sneak out. It causes trust issues and makes separation anxiety much worse. (Gina)
As always, the mom hive delivers great advice. Good luck next month and don’t forget to be kind to yourself! Have other great suggestions? Please share them HERE!
Carey Bradshaw, Author (& Nursing Aficionado)
Carey Bradshaw is a working mom just trying to balance it all. She runs Hooter Holster by Carey Bradshaw and Creative Butter. In her (scant) free time, besides perfecting her hands-free pumping bras, she loves yoga, reading, volunteering with Therapy Dogs of Santa Barbara, and just being outside in the sunshine. Carey lives in Santa Barbara with her husband and business partner, George, their volunteer therapy dog, Buttercup, and their rambunctious and lovable "fournado."