It is once again time to go back to school, for some (thankfully not me). This means squeezing back into old routines or establishing new ones. Whether you’re an adult going back to school(yay you!), have kids just starting school(where has the time gone?), been going through the school thing for many years(when are they going to college already?!), starting college (no, this is not time to go crazy), or even a teacher(yea, you need to be organized too)…routines and systems are the key to making an easy shift from summer relaxation to school schedules! Here are a few things to help make the transition easier:
1. Systemize Sleep. Start implementing a regular bed time and wake-up time 2 weeks before the start of school. Ease into the routine by inching closer to the goal times within the 2 weeks. Waking up kids that like to sleep in a bit earlier each day will get them used to getting up early for school. If you’ve abandoned the alarm clock for carefree summer months, use the 2 weeks to get yourself ready for the habit of rising with the alarm (and, yes, you can push ‘snooze’ a couple times).
2. Create a Central Calendar. If everyone in the family is used to flying by the seat of their pants during summer, creating one central spot for everyone to see what’s going on and where they need to be, will help bring things back to order. Make sure the calendar is in a place where everyone can access it and that everything of importance gets put on the calendar. This should cut down on the ‘who needs to be where, when’ confusion.
3. Prepare Your Papers. Many schools require immunizations records, physicals, class registrations and tuition records. Make sure you know the requirements of your school before the first day, so that you’re not caught saying “I didn’t know anything about that”. (On a tangential note, I have a reoccurring nightmare that I go to my first day of high school without my class schedule and have no idea where I’m supposed to be all day long. Hmmm…)
4. Minimize Morning Madness. If there is usually a mad dash to get ready and get out the door in the morning, try making some preparations the night before. Pick and lay out clothes. Pack lunches (except for anything that can get soggy and gross overnight, yuk). Set out breakfast dishes. Pack the backpacks and bags so that permission slip and homework won’t get left behind. Create a space near the door to leave everything that needs to be taken the next morning, so you can just grab it and go.
Just a little preparation before the start of the school year (or just after it starts, for the procrastinators) will decrease stress for the entire year! Wouldn’t that be awesome?!