Get Back to School Ready to Save Yourself from Stress
Recommendation from Julia Porter, PhD
It's that time of year again. Some of us want summer to linger for the longer evenings outside, fun family activities, and Summer Fridays. Some of us are ready to get back to our regularly structured days. Whichever camp you fall in, back to school is upon us. Here are a few tips to make the transition easy for everyone.
Set Up Routines and Expectations
I'm much more lax in summer than I should be about everything--how many snacks are consumed, what is appropriate attire, and when bedtime is. With school on the horizon, I know it's time to get more organized, from getting back into our bedtime rituals to organizing backpacks. It's important for me to also figure out what routines work best for all of us between work schedules, social calendars, and after school activities to start making a plan for meal prepping, etc.
We started our earlier bedtime routine this week with a new blanket. Grab a Vudeco Glow in the Dark blanket and going to sleep gets a little more fun. My daughter has been eager to hit the hay earlier thanks to this cozy blanket!
Stock up on Supplies
You've likely gotten your school supply list and have started to shop. Remember that a lot of the lower prices on crayons, folders, notebooks, etc. are temporary and unlikely to be this low again until next school year. Don't find yourself paying extra for supplies mid year, and stock up now. In fact, if you're able, add extras to your cart to share with families in need in your community (check in with your school to see what might be needed) and buy extra items off of your list to give to your child's teacher.
Each year, Staples offers 24 packs of Crayola crayons for just 50 cents! Grab some to give with gifts and to donate.
Spoil a Teacher
Teachers do so much for often little pay, so make sure that if you have the opportunity and the time, that you support teachers. Many teachers have created wish lists of items they need. This year, I volunteered to help run my daughter's school's PTO. It's a lot of work, but it helps me see just how much support the school needs, so if you don't have extra funds to kick in, consider finding a few hours a month to give back.
If you're looking for a gift for teachers to give them a little something extra, check out EastThirdCollective for unique gifts--and bookmark this page for easy holiday shopping!
Make Packing Lunch Simple
I like to make nutritious meals at home for my daughter to take, so I do a little prepping to make it so simple that my daughter can do it herself. I bought clear bins for the refrigerator that I could use to put in proteins, fruits, vegetables, and drinks. My daughter can grab an item from each bin (and 2 from the proteins) and then toss in a treat and is ready to go. (I also have been known to make sandwiches the evening before to add).
Proteins are always hardest for my daughter to choose and it can be hard to include things that kids want to eat, but we stick with individually packed cheeses, hard boiled eggs, nuts, and pinwheels. Learn how to make pinwheels with your kids. (The more involved they are in the lunch process, the more likely they are to eat it!)
Take some time for Yourself
I don't know about you, but two weeks before school starts, as activities pick back up, I get busier at work, and our routine comes back into focus, I get super busy. I always save some PTO that first week of school to treat myself! This year, I'm hosting a few other moms for swimming and snacks. Find a way, even if it's just an hour, to relax and congratulate yourself on getting through another back to school season.