Organizing Tips For A Successful Back To School – Part 1 ~ I can’t believe how quickly the summer has flown by and it’s already time to start thinking and organizing for the kids to go back to school.
Organizing for a successful back to school isn’t just about going shopping for the school supplies and the new outfits. It involves a lot more because it’s a readjustment to the child’s and family’s routine after the summer break. There is bound to be some anxiety and excited anticipation for the new grade, new teacher and new classmates.
I thought I would share with you a collection of tips to help your child be more successful when school starts up again. In my day job I worked as an elementary school teacher for many years. I always worked full time while my two daughters were going growing up. So what I am sharing with you here are perspectives from a teacher and as a parent for things that worked.
Apparently, I have a lot to say on this topic because the entire blog is quite lengthy. So I have divided the tips into two posts.
Here Is Organizing Tips For A Successful Back To School – Part 1…
Make Sure Your Child Starts the First Day
I’m starting with what I think is the most important tip and that is to make sure your child starts the first day of school (unless they are ill). I have had families bring their child to school the next day, a few days and even a week after school began in order to extend their holiday or save money flying back from a vacation. That first day is essential for every student to connect with not only their teacher but also their new and old classmates. Important classroom routines for the year are being established immediately. A late arriving child misses out and they are starting the year behind the game.
Take a Quick Tour of the School Building Just before The First Day
We often hear about stopping by to meet the teacher before the school year starts and I highly recommend this if you have just moved to the area and are not familiar with the staff and school. It’s also a good idea if your child is particularly anxious. However, if your child is very familiar with the school, it isn’t really necessary. Teachers often go in early on their own time and just prior to school beginning they are busy with all kinds of meetings and making preparations for the school year. If all parents came in to visit during this time, the teachers wouldn’t be getting much done. Instead, stop by the school to check out what the entry door will be, where the new classroom is and it is also a really good idea to make sure your child knows where the school washrooms are located.
Arrange a Playtime At The School Playground Before the First Day
I highly recommend checking out the schoolyard and playground equipment ahead of time. In my experience it is recess time that is a high priority for every school child. It’s really important for them to not only have someone to play with as well as be successful playing whatever activities are going on. The school playground equipment can be a daunting place, especially for younger children. Giving them time to play on it gives them a chance to see what they can and cannot do without the pressure of their peers around them. Walking around the school site is also a good idea to find out where all of the play areas and school entrances are located.
Have A Practice Run Of The Route To And From School
Whether your child is walking, taking the school bus, public transit or is getting a ride to and from school it’s a good idea to do a practice run ahead of time to not only check out the route but also the time it will take. Keep in mind to add some extra time because it will be busier in the morning and after school with many more people and vehicles trying to get to the same destination. Maybe plan to arrive a little bit early on that first day back to make sure that your child does not arrive late. It‘s also fun to reconnect with school friends outside before the bell rings. These yellow school buses are lined up ready for the first day of school.
Establish Routines Prior To The First Day Of School
Begin to establish routines at least a week before the first day of school. Expecting your child to begin the first day of school by waking up at 6:30 am, get dressed, eat breakfast and meet the school bus on time after being able to sleep in till 8:30 am everyday for a couple of months is really unfair to the child to expect them to jump start into the new routine without preparation. I previously wrote a blog titled How to Teach Your Children to Be Organized in the Morning that you may find useful in helping establish routines not just for the beginning of school but throughout the entire year. Here is a chart I created with a PDF version in that blog that you can download to help your child complete their daily morning tasks. My experience is that many children love checklists!
Label Your Child’s Personal Items
Label almost everything with your child’s name. That includes school supplies, backpacks, lunch kits, outdoor footwear and clothing and anything else that needs to be identified by its rightful owner. It’s amazing the number of times someone wore home the incorrect pair of boots because they were identical to another student and how many clothing items end up in the school lost and found. It can also waste a lot of time for the student and teacher to have to look for missing items.
Back To School Teacher Gift Ideas
I thought I would talk about this one a little bit for two reasons. Alex who is also a Canadian blogger NORTHSTORY knowing I was a teacher had asked me what teachers really wanted as gifts after I had commented on one of her posts and I have noticed all kinds of great ideas for really cute teacher appreciation gifts on Pinterest. Now this is only my opinion but I really don’t think it’s necessary to be too fancy. I always enjoyed when a parent stopped by with a cup of coffee from a coffee shop, some home baking or a small bouquet of flowers. Teachers often buy their own classroom supplies so a package of stickers or a border for the bulletin board is also a great idea. Most of all, I REALLY appreciated notes of appreciation…. even on the first day.
So that’s the first set of tips for helping your child for a successful back to school. You will notice that all of these tips are about being planned, prepared and most of all organized.
Here are more organizing tips for a successful back to school…
… and this is a fun idea to get started with at the beginning to the school year! I also provide the printables to make it super easy for you to make a very special school memory book throughout the year with your child.