Getting organized for back to school

By Gavin Lewis

As an educator and a father, I am always torn when summer break draws near. 

On one hand, the need for my kids to get back to school and stop eating me out of house and home is at the forefront of my mind. On the other – knowing that I need to set my alarms and begin my days much earlier – makes me feel like I need a few more weeks of relaxation.

I would be willing to bet the kids feel the same way. 

Every year at summer’s end, it is often difficult getting the kids to get back in the routine of going to bed and turning the TV/iPad off much earlier, preparing their school clothes at night and getting their minds ready for a new year of learning. 

A few years ago, we began a routine that has made the transition easier for our kids to begin a new school year. 

A few weeks before the school year begins, we:

• Set a bedtime and wake-up time close to the time they would normally go to bed and wake up during the  school year. 

• Set time daily for them to utilize online academic programs that their school uses. 

• Have them prep every night as they would school nights (minus getting their uniforms together).

• Get their weekly calendar together and organized. 

• Minimize time on electronic devices during the day. 

• Have them help with school shopping and back-to-school planning. 

• If possible, contact friends from school that they may not have seen or spoken with often during the summer. 

• Set up time to discuss their goals and plans for the upcoming school year. 

• Take time to drive to their school as we would during our regular morning and afternoon drop off and pick up. 

• Slow our days down so that they are not packed with too many activities, allowing the kids some rest and relaxation before the school year begins. 

 While it’s not a perfect list, we have found success with it. The kids are less stressed when it is time for the school year to begin and better prepared to have success early on in the year. 

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