Parents, you know it’s on your mind. September is closing in on us, and with it comes another school year. Preparing for those first days of school can be harrowing; the trick to not being overwhelmed is to schedule yourself so you don’t get caught in the mad dash of last minute shopping and preparation.
Back to school shopping and scheduling
Do the kids need new clothes? Are the sneakers worn out and the jeans too short? Take advantage of back to school sales at your favorite stores to get great prices, and plan ahead, shopping on weekday evenings or during the day to avoid weekend crowds. If you need items that don’t need to be tried on, head straight to your preferred stores’ websites and keep an eye out for coupon codes and free shipping.
School supplies. The words alone can elicit a groan from parents dreading having to walk up and down aisles finding just the right items, especially with multiple kids. Again, shop early and try to go at odd times to avoid crowds. Set yourself a strategy to avoid stress in the store, whether it’s agreeing with your child on a certain number of decision changes or making finding the right things into a game. If you can buy the simple things like pens, pencils and tissues in bulk, keep an eye out in whatever wholesale club store you frequent to get the best prices.
Schedule changes can be a big deal, especially for little ones who aren’t used to getting up. A few weeks before school starts, begin waking the kids a little earlier and putting them to bed a little earlier too. Adjust every few days until the wake ups and bedtimes are just where you want them, and the kids are already in the swing of things when the first day of school rolls around. Try to keep meals at a similar time each day too, to get little tummies used to being on a schedule.
The very first first day
If your little ones are very little and heading to school for the first time, the first day can be incredibly stressful for parent and child. Talk to your children about going to school and make sure they understand that it is only for a few hours and you’ll be back soon. Think about how uncomfortable walking into a room full of strangers can be – now imagine you’re 3 years old. This can be very intimidating, so be encouraging and supportive, and make sure your little one knows this is only for a short time. And it will be fun! Make school sound like something to look forward to rather than to be nervous about.
If the school or daycare has a “preview” or “meet the teacher” day, plan to take advantage of the opportunity to meet the staff, check out the room and meet other children and parents. Find a toy in the classroom that your child particularly likes that you can remind him or her of if nerves set in.
Start thinking early about your child’s favorite foods, things that he or she can ideally eat with minimal or no help for snack and lunch while in school. Be sure to check if your child’s classroom has any rules about foods, and plan to pack things that your child will enjoy eating.
There’s still time
Don’t worry, it’s not last minute yet. There are still a few weeks of summer left to enjoy, and you still have plenty of time to prepare for back to school. Just don’t leave it to the last minute!
Frank Failla is a Long Island realtor based in Nassau County, and serving much of Long Island. To learn more about Frank or exciting Long Island properties, visit online at frankfaillahomesli.com.