As back to school time approaches, I’m doing everything possible to make the transition go smoothly. Noodle has separation anxiety issues, so establishing– and sticking to– a routine is a must for our family. We went from having to withdraw her from preschool and have preschool at home to finishing a blissfully happy (and stress free) school year this May. Here’s 5 tips that have helped us immensely, and I hope you’ll find them useful too!
1. Start going through your typical school morning routine a week before school actually starts. As much as I love lounging in our pajamas, it’s a shock to go from lazy mornings to up-and-at-’em each day. This lets you iron out the kinks and get rid of the crankies the week before instead of the day of, which would be NO fun. Having a week of ‘training’ gets everyone in shape for the big dance– the main event– the first day of school.
2. Speaking of mornings, this morning routine printable from I Heart Organizing is wonderful. Put it on the fridge and have kids show you they completed each item. It’s such a colorful and fun chart, my kids love using their finger to “check” off each item. You can download it for free from the I Heart Organizing website.
3. This may be an oldie, but it’s a goodie: laying out clothing the night before is the only way we seem to be able to get dressed in any reasonable amount of time in this house. I have the kids help me choose so I don’t hear any whining about my choices in the morning. It’s a great tag-team approach, too– this way, my husband and I can both get them dressed and I don’t have to look at mismatched outfits thanks to his stellar fashion sense (love you, honey!)
4. Backpacks always go in the same spot when they come into the house, so we know exactly where they are when it’s time for them to leave the house. Be sure to check them every afternoon for papers and notes (that’s the teacher in me reminding you, as a parent I seem to forget to do this). Also, my kids are in preschool so we have a change of clothes in a large Ziploc bag for each and diapers for Bee; I do check to make sure it’s fully stocked before they leave the house.
5. It’s easier for us to have all the (non-perishable) breakfast things put out the night before– plates, cups, cereal boxes, etc. This is especially true if you are planning a special back-to-school breakfast, try to prep as much as you can the night before so if last minute things pop up you can stay cool, calm, and collected. And so will your kids.
This one is for the mamas: stop, take a deep breath, and try not to cry as your baby goes through the door to preschool, gets on the bus for the first time, or drives off for his first day of high school. Let’s all give each other collective hugs and high fives as our babies take another step toward independence, no matter big or little that step may be.