Back to School … Already?
By: Joan Cetera
August 6, 2012 3:45 pm CT
Ready or not, back to school we go! Some of us in the Chicago suburbs are in the thick of back-to-school planning with the kids going back as early as August 15. For many parents, this means a halt in the carefree summer days of camp, trips to the pool and summer festivals, and a return to the routine – alarm clocks, carpools and homework.
This is my first back-to-school since I was in school, as my son is returning to his grade school to start first grade this August. As I’m a back-to-school newbie, I consulted some experts to come up with the following Back-to-School Tips for Families:
Combat Anxiety. Like any change, going back to school can cause children both positive and negative anxiety and nerves. According to the experts at healthychildren.org, parents should emphasize the positive aspects of starting school: It will be fun. Remind them of positive memories about previous years, when he/she may have returned home after the first day with high spirits because she had a good time.
Buddy up! Starting a new grade or taking a new bus is always easier with a friend. Parents can help their kids by finding other neighborhood children who are taking the bus or carpooling to school.
Create calendar central. According to the organizedhome.com experts, parents should create a centralized site for all family calendars and schedules, with both a family event calendar to track after-school activities, school programs and volunteer work and specialized calendars for the rare “grown-up” dates and you have it: a one-stop shop for family time management.
Ease the Family into the Back-to-School Schedule. Experts recommend having children start going to bed and getting up at “school times” as early as two weeks prior to school starting. Meal times should also begin to mimic the times the kids will eat at school.
Conduct a carpool Run-Through. Whether you’re driving one child in a Chevrolet Cruze or several in a Buick Enclave, it’s important to do a test drive of the route you’ll take the children to school prior to the first day. And, as a reminder, the law is that all children younger than 13 years of age should ride in the rear seat of vehicles.