Back to School 2022: Quick Strategies to save you and your kids stress in the school year
It’s that time of year again. As we approach the end of summer, we also approach the annual, much-anticipated back-to-school season. The lead up to back-to-school can bring mixed emotions for both parents and for students alike; sadness for families about saying goodbye to backyard barbeques and beach days, relief for working parents who no longer need to organize childcare, and excitement for kids who look forward to seeing their friends every day.
Whether you’re sending your kid off to kindergarten or off to college, back to school season brings with it a range of emotions, but one emotion that everyone is bound to experience is stress. It can be quite jarring to go from having so much flexibility in summer to being a full-time student again, but one way to combat the stress is to come prepared.
Below are some easy strategies you can implement for both younger and older students to help ease the transition for them, start the year off on the right foot, and stay organized throughout the school year.
For Younger students:
1. Create a Lunch Station in your kitchen
While our kids are too young to pack a lunch, this task falls on the parents, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get our kids involved! I recommend creating a lunch station in your kitchen where you can make your kid’s lunch the night before. Encourage them to get involved, picking out their favorite fruits and veggies to include in their lunch. This process will not only help save time in the morning, but it’s also helping your kids form valuable, healthy habits. It’s a win-win!
2. Have a Calendar in a Central Location
Living in a digital age, many of us use online calendars for keeping track of appointments and important dates. Online tools can be very effective, but for kids, having a calendar in a central location where everyone can see it is key.
The good news is there are so many ways you can do this! Whether you use a paper calendar, a chalk board or a dry erase board, the important thing is to have a visual representation of everyone’s schedule so that the family can refer to and change it as needed. You can keep track of appointments and activities on either a weekly or monthly schedule – whatever works best for you!
3. Pick Outfits out the night before
Whether you forgot your laundry or just aren’t feeling your wardrobe, nobody likes that feeling when you go to get dressed in the morning and find you have ‘nothing to wear’ (even kids!). Just like making your kid’s lunch the night before can save so much time in the morning, so can putting out your kid’s outfits the night before. This will save a lot of potential stress in the morning for both you and your kid!
For High School and College students:
1. Keep a system for notes and supplies
As the start of the semester approaches, one of the more exciting things for students is shopping for back-to-school supplies. It can be easy to get caught up in buying fun, color-coordinated stationery, but it’s important to make sure the supplies you get are going to help you stay organized.
One key thing for keeping organized as a high school or college student is having a system for your notes and supplies. Check with your kid - do they like keep supplies and notes in one larger zippered binder with tabs for each subject or do they prefer a separate notebook and folder for each class? Either way, keeping it simple is key, otherwise they are less likely to maintain it.
2. Develop a Routine
Routine! Getting into a routine is so important for maintaining a healthy balance between school and activities, socializing, and getting enough sleep. Each student is different – some work best in the morning, others right after school, and some in the evening. There’s no right or wrong way to get things done, but sticking to a consistent routine is sure to save stress.
No matter what grade your student is entering, implementing some small, simple changes and systems in their routine with help you and them manage the bundle of nerves, excitement and stress that come with the new year.