By the end of summer break most of us are ready for the steady cadence of school. We’ve improvised long enough. However, we also realize that we’ll miss the relaxed routine where even our scheduled events have room to slip. School and its associated activities have a much tighter grip on our time.
So we look forward to the first day of school with eager anticipation and more than a flicker of anxiety. As we watch them climb onto the bus, we’re already planning how we’ll use our quiet time at home, yet we realize that school has tightened its grip on us as well. To a large degree, their schedule is our schedule, their homework is our homework, and no matter how good or bad their teachers are, their report cards reflect our effort.
That means that buying more time in the morning and finding pieces of time throughout the day can be the difference between a harried life and an orderly routine. You can do that from day one.
- Try to reduce the anxiety of the unknown by visiting the school a few days early. Let your kids find their lockers, classrooms, lunchroom, library, and the office so they aren’t stressing about that on the first day.
- Collect any necessary school forms, make sure you’ve read and signed them, and be sure your students know where they are so they can turn them in on time.
- School mornings are often rushed. Reduce the hectic pace by packing backpacks the night before, ensuring homework, school projects, and gym clothes arrive at school with your kids.
- Fill your fridge with lunch foods so that preparing their lunch is quick, easy, and healthy.
- Pick out an outfit the night before. They have plenty of things to be anxious about already, the last thing they want to do is fret over their clothes. Teach them to reduce that stress by planning ahead.
- Fill your car with gas. If you drive your kids to school, you don’t want to stop for gas in the morning and make them late. If you’re sending your kids to school for the first time you’ll want enough fuel in your car to follow the school bus and watch your little ones walk through the door. (Don’t tell us you don’t want to.)
- On that note, be sure your camera and video camera are charged and that you have plenty of room on your memory cards. The first day of school is a great photo opportunity.
Once you’ve made the effort and you’re ready for the big day, all you’ll have to do is stand ready and listen for the drum. You should have no problem staying in step. Welcome back, school routine.