It’s Back-to-School time! Who’s excited??
Here in our house, where both parents are also school system employees, Back-to-School is exciting….and stressful, too! Teachers in our county must return two weeks before the start of term, to attend professional development activities and meetings as well as prepare their classrooms for the school year. There’s a lot of prep work that goes into readying for a new year- and usually, we end up taking home more than we’d like to over the long weekend, in order to finish before the first day.
Then when the kids come, we remember why. We remember the feelings. The joy of new clothes. Breaking in those bright white shoes. The smell of new crayons and pencils. Finding your desk and cubby (or locker!). Getting used to the haircut you got just days earlier. Getting lost on your way to class. Seeing friends again. So exhilarating! In fact, the first day of school is one of the myriad reasons why some of us teachers chose our profession. It is a great reminder of childhood wonder.
There are also lots of stressors for families at Back-to-School time. However, here are a few things you can do to help ease the transition.
- Take your child to Open House. It is so helpful for kids and their teachers to meet each other before the first day. By attending, you help your child become familiar with this new path he or she must walk every morning to get to class, while also letting him or her become acquainted with the surroundings in their new environment. Also, by attending Open House, you facilitate a cordial relationship with the people at your child’s school. Your child sees that you are friendly to one another, which puts him or her at ease and sets a good example. In addition, if you ever need to write a note or make a phone call, the teacher has met you and knows you are a parent who cares about their child’s performance in school.
- Prepare your child by talking about school. It goes without saying that children transition easier from one activity to the next when they are prepared for it ahead of time. The same is true for life changes. One of the best things you can do with your child is to talk about school before it begins. Ask them if they can remember the name of their teachers, which school supply they like best, which friends they’re most excited to see, etc. Pick out a first-day outfit together. The more your child feels ready and eager for school to start, the easier it will be to transition back into that routine.
- Plan, plan, plan. I am a teacher, which also makes me a full-time working mom. I have to plan my lessons and my schedule- it’s part of my job. Up until recently, it has been a different story at home! A few weeks ago I decided to start planning breakfasts and dinners for the entire week, every Sunday. I have also started planning my outfits, and my daughter’s, for the week. I just put them all in a hanging canvas closet divider and mornings are a snap. At least one night a week I use my Crock Pot to cook something while I’m not home. I adore Crock Pot night. Coming home to food that’s already cooked is magical! It does make for a little more work on the weekends: you have to get all the laundry done that you will need for the week, plus the planning takes some time, but I find I can get most of it done during my daughter’s nap on Sunday afternoon.
So there you have it! Get those book bags all packed, get those outfits picked out, and get those BabyLegs ready! A new school year is about to begin!
About the blogger:
Hi, I’m Carlee! I teach public school in Middle-of-Nowhere, Virginia. My hubby and I have been married for four years and have a daughter who is almost two (already!). I also give private music lessons and enjoy the arts, animals, and children- but spending time with my beautiful family is my favorite pastime!