Imagine waking up on the first day of school with no panic, no hurry, and no wondering if the kids are going to miss the bus or get to school on time. Just imagine.
Does that seem like a far-fetched dream? Well, it doesn’t have to be!
It all starts 1-2 weeks before!
Yes, 1-2 weeks before, you are going to start to prepare. It may seem like you are cutting your summer short, but in reality, you are only making the transition easier in the long run!
1. Figure out what time you want your kids to go to bed during the school year. Whatever that time may be, start 1 or 2 weeks before, putting them to bed 15 minutes earlier. It may not sound like a big time difference (ooo…15 minutes!) but if they currently go to bed at 9:00 and you want them to go to bed at 7:30, making them go to bed at 7:30 the night before school starts, will probably not go so well. It’s almost a guarantee that you will have crabby kids in the morning or the next night. Start putting them to bed earlier so that they get used to their new bedtime.
2. Create a bedtime routine. In the summer, this routine may become a little lax as summertime is supposed to be, right? Make a bedtime to-do chart if needed. For example, put on a sheet of paper all the things you want your child to do before they go to bed. As they accomplish them, have them put a clothespin on the word. That way you know what they still have to do (as long as they aren’t lying, right?) Kids need routine and can thrive off structure, so don’t be afraid to get into a routine. As much as they may complain about it, they really do appreciate it!
3. Lay out what your child should wear the night before. You could even help them decide on the weekends, what they will wear for the week (if you really plan ahead). Making this decision the night before, eliminates the argument 5 minutes before the bus comes, about what your child should/wants to wear.
4. Practice your morning routine. Yes, that means create a mock “school morning” for a few days the week before; just to give your children idea of what school days look like. This lessens the shock and allows for kinks to be worked out before it really matters.
5. Prepare yourself. This means packing lunches the night before, getting backpacks ready, and setting everything needed the night before. This way you can wake up each morning and spend the first few moments on YOU, before the kids wake up. The more stressed you are, the more your kids will be too.
Relax! You will have how many “first days of school” for the next how many years? Cherish moments that you want to remember, knowing your kids are only young once. Don’t let stress and frustration overtake what joy you should have on the first day of school. You may even shed a tear as you see your preschooler getting on the bus for the first time, but don’t let those tears be because you rushed them out the door and forgot to give them a kiss before they headed off!