Summer is a time of peace and relaxation, of lazy mornings and days filled with your kids staying up late to enjoy the cool evening weather.
But school time is approaching fast, and with it comes the chaos, stress and early mornings you’ve forgotten in the bliss of summer. As the first day of school approaches, if you aren’t preparing for it, you’ll find yourself waking up late, missing the bus, or slapping together mismatched bag lunches.
Rather than let those first few weeks of school control you, take control and hit the ground running with these tips.
Identify Potential Problems During the Summer
Going off of experience and some of your children’s behavior changes during the summer, identify areas that could create problems when it’s time to return to school. For example, did your normally early bird child turn into a night owl teen over the summer? You might have a hard time getting them to wake up and get ready when school starts. Has one of your child’s tastes in lunches changed and no longer likes the normal PB&J sandwiches you pack? Your morning routine of making food needs to shift to swap out some ingredients.
Potential problems can be spotted early on to give you time to adjust before school starts. It just takes a day or two of observing your children and talking with them about school expectations. The start of school forces them out of their summer routine and into something new, and any change can be hard on children and teens.
Change the Schedule a Week Ahead
Is it really hard to get your kids to school on-time? Try out changes the week before to figure out how best to get your kids out the door on time. Have your kids wake up when they need to wake up to make it to school on time. Practice making breakfast or pack their lunches to make sure you have enough time. Do everything like they are going to school. This is like a test run for the coming months of early mornings. Have your kids wake up on time, get dressed, eat breakfast and see if they can get out the door on schedule.
Not only will this help your family get back into the school time flow, but it will help reset their internal clocks of summer sleeping in and school waking up early. Alongside this, make sure your kids are back on a good bedtime routine so they get plenty of sleep.
Lunch Prep Ahead of Time
No matter what, you’re probably going to have issues those first few weeks of school. Items will get lost, bad hair days will happen, and one kid might sleep through their alarm. If you are making lunches for your kids everyday, do some lunch prep ahead of time. Freeze a few sandwiches or have something pre-packed that you can toss their way out the door.
By preparing ahead of time, you can give yourself an extra ten minutes to address whatever emergency pops up in the morning.
Be Prepared to Get Sick
Within the first few weeks or month, somebody is going to get sick. Schools and kids are filled with germs, and one of your kids will probably get sick. Don’t let this throw a wrench in your hard work. Have everything you need on hand to get through the illness smoothly.
Some great things to have stockpiled are tissues, medicine, home covid tests, and comfort food for the child. You should also get their teacher’s contact info early on so if a kid does get sick, you can contact them and get whatever assignments are due, unless the teacher already has a means for getting this to sick students.
Take Advantage of Time Saving Tools
When school starts, you might find yourself so busy your entire day is filled. Your morning is filled with getting the kids ready for school, taking them to school, and then getting yourself to work or onto a full schedule for the day. Then, when school is done, you have to pick up the kids, take them to one of a dozen different activities (especially if you have multiple kids) drop them off for playdates, or head home for homework and snack making. Once you're home, you have to prepare dinner, clean, tackle the growing chore list, and suddenly it’s bedtime.
You don’t have enough hours in the day to get everything done. Luckily, there are now tons of resources to save you time on tasks you might not have time for. For example, rather than spending an hour or two grocery shopping, do it online and do a grocery pickup instead. Don’t have time to plan out meals? Use a meal prep service to deliver healthy meals to your home? Need to do some banking but can’t make it inside the branch? You can use our drive-up Personal Teller Machines or our myPioneer Personal Assistant video chat to talk with a Pioneer team member about your banking needs.