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 family back to school

Going back to school can be an exciting, and hectic, time for anyone! Preparing yourself and your family gets you all off to a great start.

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September is sneaking up on us and that means the start of a new school year for most kids – and maybe even you! Here are some tips so the first week back isn’t a nightmare:

1. Set bedtimes

This is the main thing many parents, or really any individual going back to school, struggles with. When you don’t have to get up the next morning going to bed at 1 a.m. is perfectly fine – but when your alarm will be going off at 7 a.m. it becomes a whole different story!

Adults need 7-9 hours sleep every night while children and teenagers need anywhere from 8-12. Figure out what works best for your family and start moving bedtimes back 15 minutes every few nights until you get to the time you need to be asleep in order to get your ideal number of hours. This is a much easier transition than suddenly going to bed at 9 after months of hitting the hay after midnight.

2. Set mealtimes

This one surprises many people but getting your mealtimes on track helps to avoid fatigue and digestion issues during that important first week. Summer is notorious for having sporadic mealtimes, but that all changes when you are in school and you typically get three meals at roughly the same times every day.
As with bedtime, move your mealtimes forward or backward slowly until you get to the average time you will be eating once back in school.

3. Meal plan

It’s not a bad idea to have meal plans set up all through the year but it’s especially important for those first few weeks back at school when everything is so hectic. Stock up on groceries and plan out at least a rough idea of what meals you will serve your family each day. Prepare and freeze some healthy meals and plan a few that have quick preparation time.

And although you may have blocked it out it’s likely time to go back to making bagged lunches – research some fun, healthy ideas now so you don’t draw a blank 5 minutes before your kids are set to leave in the morning.

back to school family4. Get supplies

Schools will generally send out supply lists a few weeks before school goes back. Take advantage of the sales at your local big box and discount stores to get great deals. Go as early as you can for best selection, and to beat the crowds!
If pricier items such as textbooks or calculators are required, look online or to former students in your area to see if you can purchase these second hand to save yourself some money.

5. Prepare clothing

To most people back to school shopping means getting some new clothes BUT I’m recommending you hold off on this! No matter what part of the country you live in weather in September is typically an extension of summer so continue to wear what you’ve been wearing all summer – for now. Fall clothing will go on sale in late September/early October so stock up then.

By then you will have gotten the fashion vibe of the school and will have a better idea of what you may want to look for as well.
What you will want to do is make sure your clothes are all clean, hemmed, and in overall good condition. Put together a few ‘go to’ outfits that you can pull on quickly on those mornings you sleep a little too late.

6. Get healthy

If at all possible fit your doctor, dentist, optometrist, and other health visits into the last few weeks of summer. Be sure everyone’s vaccinations are up to date at this time. Not only will this save on missing any school for appointments but it ensures you, and your children, have the best start to the year as possible.

7. Get comfortable with the school routine

If a new school is involved see if taking a tour is possible. Try to get as much information as you can to prepare you or your child for what will happen on the first day. Map out routes to and from the school in advance and check out the parking situation so there are no surprises.

If the school has sent any information read through it carefully so you will know any rules or requirements before you go. Fill out any paperwork and make sure your contact info, and other emergency contact numbers, are up to date.

Do you have any back to school tips that worked well for you or your children? Tell us all about it in the comments section.

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Erika Palmer

Erika Palmer is a Mom and freelance writer located in Beautiful British Columbia. She is currently working hard to create a home for her new family and is stumbling hilariously down the road to becoming a domestic goddess. In addition to her love of family, and reading and writing, she enjoys exploring new interests with friends, shopping for just about anything, and cuddling up with a great cup of tea and some sort of chocolate treat.