Tips & Tools for Back to School
Back-to-school season is right around the corner and this time of year brings both excitement and anxiety for most parents and children. Shifting from a relaxed summer schedule to more structured daily routines is often the most challenging part. However, with preparation and a positive attitude, the transition will be smoother for everyone. It is a great way to practice self-care while balancing work and family priorities!
Consider these tips and tools to help ease your children and yourself back into the school year:
Block time to create a to-do list – Prioritize time just as you do for other appointments. Use this tool as a guide for your list: Back2School Checklist.
Know what’s expected – View school websites for a school supplies list, Meet the Teacher schedule, school-year calendar, testing dates, and vaccines/physicals.
Set a budget for school shopping – Buy only essentials for the start of the school year. Take advantage of the tax-free weekend (July 30-31): Georgia's Sales Tax Holiday Fact Sheet.
Arrange childcare needs – Make sure your child knows the plan for after-school care and establish a back-up plan for care on sick days. Visit www.worklife.emory.edu/childcare.
Manage expectations about extracurricular activities – You are the parent! Limit activities and chose ones that create joy for your children.
Re-establish school-year routines – At least one week prior to the start of school, slowly push back bedtime, as well as getting up earlier.
Attend school orientations and take a tour with your children – Breaking the ice early is one of the best ways to calm fears.
Plan ahead for meals and snacks – Freeze a few easy dinners to eat throughout the week and prepare healthy snacks to grab on the go.
Create a centralized site for a family calendar – Track after-school activities, school programs, doctor’s appointments, and social events.
Prioritize self-care – Be sure you get needed sleep, exercise, nutrition and play, which will model healthy living for your family. Practice quick relaxation exercises: Take 5 for Wellness Videos.
Let your children know you care –Take time each day to talk about their school day, send personal notes in their lunch bag or backpack, and volunteer in the classroom if possible.
Practice gratitude – Be thankful for the benefits that come with kids being back in school!
- Faculty Staff Assistance Program, www.fsap.emory.edu
- Emory WorkLife Resource Center, www.worklife.emory.edu
- Healthy Emory Resource List
- American Academy of Pediatrics, www.aap.org
- National Association of School Psychologists, www.nasponline.org
- WebMD, http://www.webmd.com/parenting/back-to-school-directory