15 Tips for a Seamless Back-To-School Transition

15 Tips for a Seamless Back-To-School Transition

back to school

Whether you’re looking forward to a new beginning or you’re in end-of-summer denial, there are some things you can do now to make the back-to-school transition as smooth and positive as possible.

1. Set Goals
With a fresh school year comes an opportunity to set new goals. Pick something important to you and keep track of your progress throughout the year.

2. Clear the Decks
Enlist the kids to help find unused items and re-purpose, donate, or dispose of them. You will clear clutter and identify any clothing needs.

3. Take Stock
Back-to-school shopping can put a dent in any wallet. Schools often send out supply lists well in advance, so cross-reference that against what you already have. Take advantage of sales for what you still need.

4. Culinary Experiments
You know how, during the school year, you see recipes that look delicious and save them for “another time” when things aren’t so hectic? Now is the time! Try out some new dishes and add successful meals into your rotation.

5. Smart Shopping
Everyone loves new ensembles for back-to-school, but it’s even better when individual pieces work with the rest of a wardrobe to create multiple “new” outfits. Be strategic with your purchases.

6. Get Organized
This could be as simple as designating a “What’s Happening?” area in a high traffic location of the house where you post a giant calendar, important phone numbers, and some kind of in/out system for papers and notices.

7. Meal Planners Save Sanity
There are many meal-planning apps and paper systems available, or you can devise your own. Not only will you save time and brain cells, but you will probably save some money, too. Now’s the perfect time to start using one.

8. Schedule Extra-Curricular Activities
Register well before an activity starts to ensure a spot. Early registration for something like piano lessons will also mean there are more choices available for lesson times.

9. Ease Back into Routines
Night owl habits can be rough to transition out of, making school a rude awakening (pun intended) for many. Reel in the bedtimes (yours, too) and start getting up at a consistent time each morning. This will go a long way towards lessening the zombie effect.

Many schools tend to frown on all-day grazing, so try to start regulating meals and snack times to correspond with the school schedule.

10. Get (Back) into the Habit of Prepping
Do whatever you can to prepare in advance for chaotic school mornings. Getting the coffee ready to go and picking clothes the night before are good ways to ease back into the groove.

11. Add to the “Fun” Bin
Road test some new family board games or other activities that can be enjoyed throughout the school year. You can use them on nights when the family needs some fun bonding time (but everyone is too tired to learn something new).

12. Summer Bucket List
Have you done all the activities you wanted to this summer? If not, are there any you can fit in before school starts? Make a list and start checking things off.

13. Re-establish Social Connections
In the summer, social networks tend to fan out as everyone goes their separate ways on individual adventures. Now is a good time to reconnect and swap stories. Seeing their friends can help kids face the uncertainty of a new class, teacher, etc. with more confidence.

14. Check in with Your Kids
The beginning of a new school year can be an anxiety-ridden time. Ask your kids how they are feeling about it. What are they looking forward to? Are they worried about anything? Sometimes just talking about worries can ease them, and if not, maybe you can help your child come up with some coping strategies.

15. Make Plans for You
If it’s not on the calendar, chances are it won’t happen. Be sure to schedule some “you” time and couple time, while you’re at it.

The last, lazy days of summer can be bittersweet or celebratory. Either way you look at it, it’s a change, and a little forward planning will go a long way toward making it a great one.