Back-to-School Sanity Savers
By Ashley Sigrest
‘Tis the month before back to school
and all through the house,
no one really cares,
especially your spouse.
Your kids are soaking up summer
all that they can,
but you’re the mom
so you need a plan!
July may seem too early to be getting ready for school, but the truth is it’s only a few weeks away. Get a monthly calendar to help you stay organized this month as you plan all your back-to-school needs, as well as keeping up with important dates for the coming school year. Speaking of needs, now is a great time to schedule doctors’ appointments before school starts, so your kids won’t have to miss class unnecessarily. Use July for check-ups or physicals if your child is playing any sports, and it’s perfect for those needed dental appointments. Your kids can use the free time in these waiting rooms to catch up on all the summer reading they may have been avoiding in June.
As July closes out and August approaches, begin to establish some good habits that will carry over into the school year. A great habit for parents is to have a big family calendar in a central location to write down the month’s known activities, and update it weekly as needed. This way everyone knows what’s going on and what they need to plan for. You can find many ideas to stay organized on Pinterest and choose one that will work best for your home and family. Be realistic and know it may work great the first week of school, but by Labor Day you may have already trashed the system. Just pick it back up or adjust it as needed. The more organized you can be the easier things will flow and you won’t feel as flustered.
The week before school starts is the prime time to regulate your children’s sleeping schedules once again. Get them in the routine of earlier bedtimes and prepare them for the responsibility to have whatever they need for the next day ready. (Especially cramming in the last-minute summer reading!) Slowly alter not only their bedtimes, but also their wake times by about 30 minutes each day, so their systems aren’t in total shock come the first day of school. Look at your schedule and plan something fun to do before the kids head back to school. Plan a day of swimming, roasting hot dogs and making s’mores in your backyard, a family movie night, or whatever your family will enjoy.
The Sunday before school starts, Kellye Smith, a mom of three, advises using five bins or creating some other system for kids to organize their clothes for the whole school week ahead. This includes socks and underwear. On school mornings, they can pull out what they’ve chosen from those five options without having to search and panic the night before or the morning of. The night before school starts, be sure your phone or camera is fully charged to capture those special moments. Allow extra time for pictures. Decide ahead where you want these pictures taken and whether you want to use signs or props. Doing things ahead of time saves you a lot of unneeded stress.
Summer goes by in a flash and though you may want to ignore the coming school year it’ll be here before you know it. Making plans ahead of time can actually give you more time with your kids in the long run. Soak it up and enjoy it all. Even the hectic shopping can be a fun tradition with your kids if you choose it to be.
Ashley Sigrest is a writer, a blogger, a teacher and a mom of four, who lives in Madison, MS with her family.
Save the date for Mississippi’s tax-free weekend! Friday, July 26 and Saturday, July 27 you can shop for back-to-school clothing and save money!