Back to School Stress Free

Does the thought of a new school year make you crazy?

Let me help you ease back into the school year relatively hassle free.
Kids (and some parents too) really enjoy summer vacation and the thought of
back to school often has some negative associations. Lets look at ways to turn this
into a positive milestone for everyone. Start now talking positively about the new
opportunities coming with the new school year. New teachers, new friends, new
skills are all positives to look forward to. Talk about the approach of the school year
all summer long so that it doesn’t Dzsneak up on themdz creating a feeling of
unpreparedness or panic.

Early mornings, homework, and balancing crazy schedules produce a less positive
feeling but they can all be managed if you are organized and ready when the day
arrives. Part of the crazy morning routine is what to wear, where is my …..(fill in the
blank), etc. You can lessen some of that with some advanced planning starting
today. Plan some time to go through the kids closets and drawers and remove
clothes they’ve outgrown leaving only what they can and want to wear. Make sure
that things are in their reach so that aren’t dependent on you for everything. You
can even lay their clothes out the night before. Spend some time organizing their
room so that they have a calm and relaxing place to rest.

Regardless of where they will do homework, they need a clear surface with good
lighting to read and write. Where possible include a calendar or reminder system
for keeping track of deadlines and extra curricular activities in the area that they do
homework. Store extra supplies in or near the workspace so that kids can restock
without leaving the room, which may cause them to lose focus. Take time this
summer to assess your leftover stock of school supplies before the back to school
shopping day arrives so that you don’t spend unnecessarily. Designate a place for
book bags as well and plan to do a nightly check to insure that all items are
completed and have been returned to the bag.

Now that clothing, supplies, bedrooms, and workspaces are in order, its time for a
test run. Yes, dress rehearsal for back to school. Don’t guess how long it will take to
get up and out the door but actually time it. This is a great way to get a realistic
morning routine and eliminate chaos. Finally consider slowly changing the summer
bedtime schedule to more closely reflect the school day schedule as summer winds
up. Enjoy what’s left and prepare for what’s ahead!

Lou Anne Dunn
Neatly Dunn
Greenville, NC