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Sneaky Strategies for Back to School

Get your kids ready to head back to school (without making them miserable) with this simple and easy to follow step-by-step guide!

Whether the kids are getting ready for the their first time at preschool or kindergarten, or are old timers entering elementary, middle, or high school, here are a few strategies for getting them ready for school while it’s still summer.

Choosing School Supplies

Choosing new backpacks and lunchboxes for younger kids, and letting your older ones shop for cool school supplies and new clothes, can be one of the parts of going back to school that are most fun for kids. Don’t forget to download the school supply list from school before hitting the back-to-school sales (many of which are already in full swing.)   


Organize the Family

Getting organized makes the transition from summer days at the pool to fall days at school smoother and less stressful. Create a back-to-school checklist, or download one that covers everything from school forms and sports physicals, to haircuts and shopping.                           


Reintroduce a Schedule 

“Children respond well to schedules when they know what to anticipate.  Reintroducing regular sleep and meal schedules at home makes the adjustment to school easier,” says Brooke Zeitz, director of the Etta Natalie Rosenblatt Preschool at Temple Sholom in Broomall.  After summers of snacking all day, staying up later and sleeping late, it helps to start a week before school starts with breakfast and lunch at regular times, and getting back to a sleep schedule that works for school.      


Earlier to Bed

The day before the first day of school isn’t the right time to send your kids to bed early. They’re probably excited — and may be nervous. Getting a good night’s sleep will help them get off on the right foot. If they’ve been going to bed later than usual this summer, spend the week before school getting them to bed five to 10 minutes earlier each day so by the time it’s the night before school, they’ll be back to their usual schedule.


Anticipate Anxiety

Going back to school can be stressful for children. “Talking about what to expect will help. Read a related book or use pretend play with their favorite toys to start the conversation and ask about their feelings or worries.  My favorite book for easing this type of anxiety is The Night Before Preschool/Kindergarten/First Grade by Natasha Wing,” Zeitz says. The Kissing Hand, Daniel Goes to School, and Llama Llama Misses Mama are perfect for preschoolers.


Plan Healthy Meals

Making sure kids have a healthy breakfast instead of sugary grab-and-go food before running out the door means keeping healthy, ready to go options available. Stock the refrigerator with boiled eggs, yogurt, and fruit, and the pantry with whole grains like oatmeal and granola. To make healthy school lunches easy, follow these tips.        


Updated by Eleanor Linafelt


Photograph by LightFieldStudios for iStock.

Contributing Writer