If you’ve been shopping lately you’ve seen shelves stocked with backpacks and notebooks all shiny and new. School is just around the corner and there is lots to do to get you and your family prepared for the first day.
Summer can be a great time to relax but as school draws near, it is important to ease kids back into routine. About two weeks before the first day, start re-implementing their regular school routine. Set wake up and bedtimes, as well as meal and snack times to mimic that of their school day. If your child is starting kindergarten, phase out nap time. This one is hard to work on, but it will help everyone out if your child is used to being active for a full day before school starts. Practice getting ready in the morning and packing lunches. This will help you plan for grocery shopping as well. Have some fun and do a “dress rehearsal” a couple of days before so you can track how long the drive will take or how far to walk to the bus stop. Remember to account for traffic or unexpected events.
Plan a visit to the school, especially if it is new for the child. Most schools host meet the teacher events and this will allow the student to walk around and become familiar with either their new school or new classroom. Talk with your child about their first day. Whether they are brand new to school or veterans, they might be anxious or uneasy. Ask them how they feel and tackle issues head on. Encourage them by pointing out positive aspects of school, how they will see their friends, have lots of fun, etc. Remind them about previous years if they are older. If possible, see if any of their friends will be in their class and establish a buddy system.
Let your child have some say in their school supplies. If they are required to wear a school uniform, let them pick their backpack. This gives them some ownership and confidence. Before you go shopping, save some money during tax free weekend in Texas August 11-13. Remember that the law exempts most clothing, footwear, school supplies, and backpacks priced less than $100. You can see a specific list here.