Wednesday, August 6, 2014

6 Back-to-School Tips for Parents

Back to School Tips for Parents

For the first time, my three boys will be attending school at the same time this fall. Because I am a stay-at-home-mom, many will wonder what I will be doing with my extra free time! Let's just say...there won't be an abundance of relaxation hours. My two youngest will only do 3 half days and to tell you the truth, I foresee that when all of the kids start school in September, it will become a little hectic in a whole different way.

Nevertheless, I'm excited for them to start. I love when they come home and share with me all that they have learned in class. As a former teacher, I know how important it is to reinforce what is learned at school and understand how busy evenings and weekends become. Time is precious and we all want things to run smoothly. Here are 6 Back-to-School tips to help you stay organized and prepare all parents for the first days of school.

1) Designate special spaces. Make it clear to everyone at home where backpacks, lunchboxes, sport equipment, homework and notes from school will be kept. There is nothing more frustrating than looking for a field trip form the morning it is due! Also, with everyone's suggestion in consideration, pick a quiet and clutter free space for homework time. Consistency is key!

2) Put the dates in! If you already have the school calendar and extra-curricular activities schedule, write important dates down on your wall calendar, your smart phone and even work calendar! You don't want to miss something special.

3) Go over school rules. This is very, very important. Some school have kids sign "honor codes" now. Make sure you take the time to go over every detail as well as reminding your children what kind of behavior is expected of them. This is also a great time to make sure your children know important phone numbers and address.

4) It's bedtime. Start getting everyone back to a normal bedtime routine. Kids between the ages of 5 and 11 need about 10 hours of sleep! After a long day of learning, their bodies and brains will need that much!

5) Stock up on food. After four years of running around with my oldest after school, I know that one of the most important time savers in my life is having food ready to go. It's helpful to have fruit and veggies washed and cut, frozen fruit bags ready for quick smoothies and even frozen veggies for a quick addition to any meal. Not only does this save time but it also saves money! No need to make stops at unhealthy places on your way home. Plan on shopping over the weekend and giving yourself a little time to prep on Sunday nights.

6) Enjoy the last days of summer! Life should be fun and stress-free for kids (especially during the summer). As your summer weeks start to come to an end, celebrate the start of a new year by doing something special. Be positive about school starting soon! Modeling this type of behavior will get your kids excited too. Have fun!

If you have any other helpful suggestions, please share in the comments below!

Betty Galvan, is writing "for smart and stylish moms" over


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