Can you believe it’s almost time for school again? For some, it may have already started! We have a few weeks left, but time is running short, and we need to get ready! So here is a list of things I feel that we need to accomplish in order to get the new year off to a good start.
This summer has just flown by! We are taking our summer vacation this next week, and then it will be all about preparing for the new school year. My son is entering the 8th grade this year, so he’s a pro at being a middle-schooler! Next year, as he begins high school (where has the time gone?), it will be a little different.
School and change has always been fairly easy for him, but he has expressed a little bit of apprehension about going to high school. If you have kids that are entering a new phase of school, they may be a little nervous, as well. I hope this list will help ease their apprehension a little!
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How to Prepare Your Kids for the New School Year
1. Have them go through their closets.
Starting a new school year is all about starting fresh, so why not start with a fresh, organized closet? When I see my son every day, I don’t realize how much he’s growing. Then he puts one of last year’s t-shirts on! A year ago, we were buying children’s sizes, now he’s wearing a men’s medium! His closet definitely needs a purge. He has been slowly pulling a few things out here and there this summer, but it’s time to weed out all of those outgrown clothes.
And while you’re cleaning out the closet, you may want to add some closet organizers so it stays that way!
2. Have them do a bedroom overhaul.
I don’t know about your kids, but mine tend to accumulate a lot of things in their room! I only have one left at home now, but he seems to be following in his brother’s footsteps in that area. Since he is 13, he spends a lot of time in his room, and things just start piling up. Instead of putting them where they belong, they just get piled on the floor at night when he goes to bed!
It just seems to me that his school year will start off a whole lot better if he wakes up to a nice, clean room! He’s at camp this week, and I usually take that opportunity to freshen things up and organize them. But I have a vacation to prepare for, and I just don’t have the time, so he’s going to have to do it himself!
3. Get a student planner.
For my son, this is an easy one. We pay $5 at the beginning of the school year, and they provide a planner. I’m not sure a lot of it gets used, but it does help him keep track of his assignments. If you need some planner pages to get started, I have some in my Printables Library.
If your child’s school doesn’t provide planners, and you are looking for a full spiral-bound planner, check out these:
4. Set up an after-school schedule.
This is one area I haven’t been very consistent with. On the days he has activities after school, it’s easy, because being organized is the only way everything gets done! But on the other days, there’s really no organization, and sometimes he’s up quite late doing homework, because he forgot about some of it! This is one we definitely need to work on.
5. Have a command center or family calendar.
I have a big calendar that keeps track of everything. I love these calendars. There’s stickers for just about everything, and there’s a separate column for each member of the family (unless you have too many kids for it!). It helps us keep track of practices, school events, birthdays, and more.
And if something unexpected comes up and we won’t be home when my husband gets home, we have a black dry erase board on the end of the cabinet that catches his attention when he walks in the door—it uses neon markers, so it’s noticeable!
6. Let them help pick out school supplies.
In elementary school, we had specific lists that we had to follow. But now that he is in middle school, there’s a little more flexibility with what he can use. If he is allowed to help decide what supplies he needs, it makes that first day a little more exciting, and he’s more likely to use those supplies.
Last year, one of his teachers had listed a certain type of pencil he preferred, so we bought a whole pack. However, once school started, he found out that it was just a suggestion, and he prefers mechanical pencils. So he never did use the ones we bought for that class!
7. Stock up on extra supplies.
In August, everything is all in one place and easy to find. But if you run out of something during the school year, it’s not always that easy to find it at the store. So I try to keep a few extras on hand at home of the things I think he might need more of before the year is over. This also helps so that they don’t have to bring some of their supplies (like colored pencils) home every night and then try and remember to take them back the next day!
8. Have an end-of-summer celebration.
Or a beginning-of-school celebration! If we celebrate it as something special, it will make it a lot more exciting for the kids. Have a big barbeque, set up a tent in the back yard, or make some back-to-school cookies. It doesn’t have to be big, but just something fun to take their minds off the stress of starting a new year. For some kids, going to school each day is a lot harder than for others. They just need to know that we’re on their side.
9. Set up a homework station.
This is more important for some kids than others. If there is a certain place where they go every day to do their homework, it helps keep them more focused. My older son needed a lot of help in this area. My younger son is a lot more academically inclined and doesn’t need as much guidance. But last year, he was doing it in his room, and it seemed that he was staying up quite late getting it done. When we decided it needed to be done upstairs in the living room or dining room, it got done a lot sooner. There were just too many distractions in his room! Besides the fact that it was out of our vision range, so there was probably other things besides homework going on!
10. Have a family meeting.
This is one area where I have failed miserably. It always sounds like a good idea, but it just never happens! But this is a good way to get everybody on board with the new school year. You can talk about all of the above issues and how they are going to work out. You can even make some decisions about breakfast ideas for school mornings, how chores will be handled during the school year, and get everybody excited about the next year!
And that’s my list of 10 things to help you get prepared for this next school year! If you would like my student planner printables, as well as some first-day-of-school photo printables and a wall art printable, head over to the Printables Library to sign up!