Whether you are sending your little one to school for the first time, or are a seasoned school parent back to school can always be a bit overwhelming. Sometimes you may not know what to expect, or you have a child who isn’t excited to see summer end and the school year begin.
Here are a few ideas and suggestions to get your kids and excited and yourself well equipped for the new school year:
School Supplies: Make it Fun!
-Allow your children to come with you when shopping for supplies.
-Let them pick out items they like as long as it follows the classroom supply list. A lunch box is a lunch box, so let them choose!
-Turn the school supply list into a scavenger hunt at the store.
-Let them pick out a back to school outfit. This will help motivate them to get up and ready quickly on the first day!
-Start a school bed time/wake up time routine a few weeks before school starts. This will get your kids in the habit of their school schedule in time for the big day. If your child has a hard time getting up, try a ready to wake alarm clock.
-Designate and an area in your home for school related items. Pick a closet or corner for them to hang their backpack and keep their supplies. This will help the kids know where everything should go and help with organization. It will also keep the mornings running smoothly and help get you out the door on time!
-Have your kids pre-pack their backpack the night before school. This will get them in the habit of checking their bag every night and getting it prepared for the next day.
-Buy containers and snack bags so your child can help make their lunch. Have them help you organize the fridge to know what options they have to pack in their lunch box. This is something your child can do the night before school as well.
Everyone can get excited about a tradition. Collaborate with your family and make your own for the first day of school. This will get your kids excited about the first day…. every year! We recommend you do a back to school devotion the night before school starts. Also, here are a few ideas that our Kids staff at Biltmore have done with their families:
Mr. Bill: Every year my wife read the book “The Kissing Hand” to my daughters the night before school started. She did this all the way through to their senior year.
Mrs. Carla: My daughter always wore a red shirt on the first day of school. She always looked forward to getting up on the first day and sporting her red shirt!
Mrs. Rexella: We always make a school bus cake with donut wheels for the first day of school. The kids love it and look forward to it. They enjoy helping make it, too.
Mrs. Gini: My husband and I write our daughter little notes to put in her lunch box and backpack that she can find throughout the day. We also always have a special pancake breakfast!
-Wake up earlier than your kids. Get yourself ready for the day, have your quiet time and be ready and prepared for when your kids need to wake up and get ready. When you are having a rushed morning, your children will too.
-Have a family calendar somewhere in your home. Write down important dates and events, including those for school. Make sure to include each day’s class “special.” You would hate to forget to send library books with your child on library day…. or forget to have them wear tennis shoes for gym class!
-Be intentional with preparation. Have lunches packed and folders/backpacks checked the night before school. What happens behind the scenes is what sets you up for success or failure.
-Pick a devotional or conversation starter book to keep in your car for car rider line. This will help get your child’s morning off to a great start and end their school day with a good conversation.
Know Your Childs School:
-Attend meet the teacher and any other informational meetings. Ask questions and educate yourself on things you need to know.
– Ask the teacher the best way to communicate with him/her. Keep contact information for the school in your phone and readily available if needed.
-Find ways to get involved and plugged in. Pick a few serving opportunities throughout the year.
-Get to know other classroom parents and exchange information. If you lose a class schedule or have a question about an assignment, this list is a good got to.
-Don’t worry about your child while they are at school. Release control of their safety and security into the hands of God. He has a plan and purpose for them while they are there and loves them even more than you do! There is a great guided prayer for this in Stormie Omatartian’s book The Power of a Praying Parent.
-Walk your child in on the first day if you feel like you need to, but when they are ready let them go in on their own. Encourage independence and celebrate with them when they are ready to walk in by themselves.
-Be involved but not immersed. Use opportunities to get plugged in, but give your child space while they are at school. You don’t have to be there with them every day.
Remember to always use positive language when it comes to school. If you dread your child going to school, they will dread it too. Celebrate every day like it’s the first day and encourage your kids to be the salt and light in their school (Matthew 5:13-16). Talk about opportunities for your kids to show Jesus love and disciple their classmates. After all, school is the perfect place for our kids to be the hands and feet of Jesus (Matthew 9:37-38).