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Back To School Tips

It's time to go back to school! (It's okay … you can do a little dance, we all understand.)

As happy as you may be, the kids may be a little stressed about the vacation-to-school transition. Here are some tips to make things a little smoother. 

Back up Bedtime.
Get your kids used to sleeping on the schooldays clock a few days in advance so that first back-to-school morning isn't so brutal. Either switch the bedtime to its earlier incarnation cold turkey 3 days or more before school starts, or back it up ten minutes at time until you get it where it needs to be.  
Empower the Morning Prep .
My kids can get really stressed by feeling ‘rushed' in the morning. Fellow Minti Mom Jen Lemen gave me a tip for helping them feel less out of control on school mornings. She told me to sit down with my kids with paper and pen. Starting with what time we had to be out the door, we figured out how much time they needed to get ready.
“How long does it take you to put on your shoes and get your coat and backpack?” “How long to eat breakfast…brush teeth and hair…”…etc, all the way back to “How much time do you want to lie in bed between when I wake you up and when you start getting ready.” I helped them adjust when their times were unrealistic, and then we posted in on the wall by their bedroom door. They immediately felt less pressure from the clock and mornings went much more smoothly.  
Memorialize Summer.
Saying goodbye to Summertime fun can be pretty tough – especially if it seemed to go by too fast. (Since we moved from the States to Europe we've switched to year-round school and 6 weeks of “Summer” really flies!) Help your kids memorialize all the good times by putting up photos of Summer fun on the fridge, making a long list of “Things We Did” in bright markers, or lining up all their little keepsakes on a windowsill. (Our sill? A patch from Bornholm Island, rocks, ticket stubs from Kung Fu Panda, and Tivoli season passes.)  

Make an Organization Station :
Get that backpack station in order! Do you have a place for shoes? Coats? Backpacks? Scooters? Bike Helmets? Gym bags? If not, find one. It will be getting a lot of use. Ours is an inexpensive bench from Target with storage for shoes underneath, a row of hooks, and a ‘drip pan' for wet rainboots. There's also a wire basket on the kitchen counter for the lunchbox stuff (the kids wash their own out) and an in/out tray for school notices.  
Have a First Day Ritual.
I'm a big believer in the way little rituals anchor our lives and help us feel secure. Our first day back to school rite includes: a personal note on each kids' breakfast plate; French toast, and a picture taken on the front lawn of the kids with their new backpacks and lunchboxes.  

What are your tips for easing back into school?
Share them with other MomsMatter Moms!