It’s back to school time and this year has some added challenges for parents and kids. Social justice is likely to come up in conversation among your child’s peers. Having discussions about expressing kindness to everyone reinforces your Christian lifestyle.
Due to COVID-19 and the fluid situation of schools being in person or online; normal school supplies now mean buying extra masks, purchasing or creating mask holders to go around kids necks so they don’t lose the mask during lunch, purchase pocket sanitizer for each kid and travel wipes and bringing a personal reusable water bottle to school. Besides PPE supplies, consider talking to your kids about the current environment in such a way that they can express their concerns as they arise. As parents, you want your child to come home and telling you the real experiences and how classes are going so you can decide if staying home is better.
Here are some helpful tips for smoothing the transition to the school year.
Ease into school bedtime1 or 2 weeks in advance (especially with young ones) to create a new routine without drama. Making bedtime earlier every couple of days. Aim for 8-10 hours of sleep each day depending on your child’s needs. Keep bedtime the same on weekends for smaller kids to avoid disturbing sleep patterns.
Start a project supply stash such as poster-board, markers, index cards, and glue sticks. The best deals you’ll see all year are during the back to school season, so stock up!
Sort through last year’s school clothes before shopping for new. Donate the gently used to a charity or organize a “trade” with other parents.
- Homework station with supplies organized for each child. A permanent area or space using a box or basket to keep each child’s supplies organized and easy to set-up.
- Create a file box or folder for class assignments for each child to track work. Older kids should do their filing themselves.
- Stay connected by having a central wall calendar or common app on phones for appointments sports projects etc.
Online School schedule.
- If you have multiple children working online and limited screen resources, create a schedule
- For distance learning, try to “mimic” the school environment with their private study area away from the busyness of the family
For the Upcoming Week
- For small children, organize their clothes for the week
- Make lunches the night before or have the older kiddos make the lunches for everyone
- Create an inbox for permission slips, sign-up sheets, school notices…
- Weeknight Dinners – Plan and prep meals on the weekend. Planned-overs are a huge help. For example; reuse last night’s meatballs for sandwiches or sliced as pizza toppers.
- Share the prep and cleanup chores with everyone
- Organize the bathroom the night before so morning isn’t spent finding grooming supplies and squabbling over bathroom time. Try hanging a mirror in bedrooms so grooming final touches won’t tie up the bathroom.
- Create a “Breakfast bar” with easy cereal and fruit grab-n-go choices that work for your family
- Label bottles, lunch boxes, book bags, and outerwear for small children.
Getting out the door
- Organize the area by the door so backpacks, lunch, keys, and outerwear are all together.
- Keep a bag of spare chargers, batteries, pencils, calculators in the carpool car, to avoid the need to turn back home and pick up forgotten items.