It’s that time again: time to stock up on pencils and lined paper and white board markers. Time to get the backpacks ready and the lunchboxes packed. Time to send the kids back to school at our top-rated Lexington District One School System. If the transition from lazy summer to crazy school year is a difficult one for your family, here are some tips that might help make going back to school more fun and less stress.
- Dedicate a drawer in your fridge to lunch. Hate making lunches to send to school with your kids? Who doesn’t! But since school lunches aren’t as tasty or as healthy as many parents would like, packing the lunchbox is a part of school life. Make it easier for yourself by using one of your fridge drawers to hold a variety of healthy snacks that can easily be slipped in the lunch box each morning. Then you can just make a quick sandwich, have your children grab a snack or two from the drawer, and voila! Lunch is ready to go.
- Pack backpacks the night before. Lots of us start out with backpacks ready to go before the first day of school, but we fall off the backpack wagon somewhere around week 2. Set a nighttime alarm to remind you and your children to get everything ready and in the backpack the night before and you’ll eliminate the morning “where’s my homework????” headache.
- Create a master schedule for your family. Have you seen photos of homes with those big chalkboard calendars on the wall? Guess what, they actually work to keep everyone in your family on the same page as to who has to be where and who is taking who to what class. If you are juggling work, homework, sports, music, and playdates, you need a calendar like this. You don’t have to paint it on your wall, but we wouldn’t blame you if you did.
- Go over emergency plans with your kids. What if you can’t make it to the bus stop for pick up one day, would your kids know what to do? What if there is a thunderstorm just as school lets out and your kids are walkers, would they know to stay inside? Go over scenarios like these with your kids and provide kid-appropriate ways for them to react. What to do in each circumstance depends on your personal preferences and circumstances but responses might be, stay at the bus stop until I come to get you, or maybe, ask one of the other moms if you can walk home with them. Also, be sure you are signed up for SchoolMessenger, the district’s emergency communication tool.
- Discover the homework hotline. Did you know that there is a free resource called org that is there to make your life easier? From kindergarten through 7th grade you’ll find resources to help with your child’s math homework. For other subject, you’ll need a list of people you can call for help. Other parents at the Saluda River Club are in the same boat and thanks to social media it is easy to build a network that can find the answer to virtually any question or problem your child brings home. The key is to not wait until you need the answer. Instead, start building the network at the beginning of the school year and by the time the work gets really hard, you’ll be all set.
Small steps like the ones above can go a long way to making the school year schedule more manageable and predictable for everyone. By smoothing out the stressful times, especially the morning rush and the post school homework crunch, you’ll create a happier environment for every member of your family.