Is it really back to school time already? Where the heck did summer go?!
Going back to school is an exciting time for kids. They get to make new friends, play, and learn that there is a whole new world out there. But as a parent to a kid going to school for the first time, it can be terrifying. Will they make friends? Will they like going to school? What are the expectations? Do I take my kid to school or make them ride the bus? Cue the anxiety, amiright?
I’m sure you have many questions about going back to school. I know I do! So I’ve rounded up some of the most beneficial tips from real mamas who have done it and perfected it. I hope you find this both informative and inspirational, enjoy!
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Easing the Back to School Jitters
Go to the Open House
Many schools hold an open house where teachers open their classrooms for future students and parents to tour. You’ll get to ask questions about how the classroom is set up and what is expected of the children. You’ll also get to see where drop-off and pick-up locations are so that you know the route ahead of time. Take the opportunity to tour the school or even visit the school during summer time to get your child accustomed to the atmosphere.
Meet the teacher
Meeting new kids can be fun, but meeting a new adult can be a little scary. By introducing yourself and your child to the new teacher, he’ll remember her when that first day comes. It will be less frightening when they have random adults telling them what to do. Teachers know that the first day of school can be nerve-wrecking for kids, trust that your teacher wants your child to flourish and it will be okay, mama.
Read Books to your Child
Read books to your preschooler about the first day of kindergarten. There are a lot of books on the subject, and reading about it ahead of time and seeing how a story character handles the situation can be so helpful for a child
Kerry S. from Mrs. Lady WordSmith
She is so right. Reading to your kids is so important, especially when big transitions come about such as moving, potty training, and going to the dentist. I have always read books prior to potty training and it was a huge help. My son wanted to be a Super Hero Potty Star, just like the character.
Here are a few reading suggestions for you and your child to enjoy before going back to school. My kids did in other areas when their favorite characters from cartoon shows were experiencing a similar challenge.
Make a Friend or Neighbor Prior to School
If you get a class list ahead of time, set up a couple play dates before the first day of school so your child will have some familiar faces on their first day.
Caitlin P. from Real Mom Recs
I just love this tip! My son was the only boy among his age group in our family, and there aren’t really many neighbors with kids his age. I will definitely be taking advantage of this tip. If you don’t get a class list, I suggest finding a local community group on Facebook and ask if any moms would be willing to get a group together of children going to be in the same class.
Talk it Out
I talk a lot about going to school and what happens at school in the months leading up to the first day. I point out the school buses when we see one, and remind that she’ll be riding one in September. We visit the school in advance (at scheduled meet the teacher or orientation days, and outside school time to play on the equipment). With my middle kiddo, we’ve been extra lucky as there is a playgroup held inside the school she’ll be attending in the fall. Talking about it and bringing it up often opens the doors to addressing their fears, and helping it become familiar.
Anna A. from Abrazo and Coze
Remind your child that he or she is not the only student who is uneasy about starting a new school year. Point out the positives, including that he or she will meet new friends. Talk about the interesting things he or she will learn in the months ahead.
From the American Academy of Pediatrics
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Navigating to and from School
Dropping off Your Child
Don’t linger at the door after the drop off. You have to “cut the cord” like a big girl, momma. It’s hard to see our babies growing up but you have to let them grow up
Walking to School Tips
If you walk to school do the school walk once or twice before you go back to get everyone ‘in the habit’ again… you can add a snack at the end or a fun activity on the walk
Claire L. from The Frugal Family
Practice Bus Safety
Get your bus route in the summer. Practice walking to the bus stop prior to the first day and be sure to teach your child the rules of the road. Make sure that your child can see the bus driver’s face when walking in front of the bus; if you can’t see the bus driver’s face, then she can’t see you. Always sit down and wear the seat belt (if your bus has them). No eating on the bus. You know, all the stuff you knew as a child. I’m sure all the rules still apply today.
Sleep Tips for Back to School
Begin your sleep routines about 2 weeks prior to staring school. Get in the habit of going to bed early and waking up early and GET DRESSED. If you are new to this game, like me, you’ll want to be prepared. I am a planner, I would go as far as getting everyone in the car and drive the route to school. Be prepared.
Get to Bed Ealry
Studies show that when kids get a good amount of sleep, they perform better in school. Aim for at LEAST 8 hours. I’m going to shoot for 10 hours of sleep. I recently found out our school start time is way earlier than we are used to so it’s going to be a challenge.
Supply Tips for Back to School
Don’t Fall for the Cutesy Stuff
Don’t fall for the ton of cute supplies out there! A tiny bug or car backpack might be super adorable, but it will be pointless if it won’t hold your child’s tiffin box or school stuff.
Anjana from My Health Suraksha
Buy Your Own
Go buy school supplies on your own. Pick up a few extras so there are options (and to replenish supplies throughout the year). Then let the kids pack their bags from what you already bought, this helps prevent buying the $3 folders when the $1 folders will do etc.
Samantha B. from No Time 2 Nap
Buy Early, like REALLY early
Buy early! Start looking at supply sales in July because it is totally worth it to save on everything you will need for the next 12 years!!!
Christine A. from Eco Life and Style
Being a couponer for a year or so, I’ve realized how much money you can save, even without coupons by just knowing when things go out of season. Here’s a tip for saving money on school supplies: after school starts, suppliers will start to want to clear out all of their overage school supplies by marking them clearance. Get the class supply list for the NEXT grade and shop those supplies in September when clearance is marked 75-90% off. Most schools post them online. Some stores even have specific school lists.
Looking to Go Green? Check out this post from Sunshine Guerrilla
Food and Back to School
Pack their lunch
Pack Their Lunch! Most schools do not give kids a long enough lunch break and I quickly found out they waste a lot of time in line. At our school the kids with lunch boxes get to sit right down and start lunch. This gives them more time to eat and you can pack foods your kid will actually want to eat
Denise B. from STL Motherhood
I totally did not even think of this! Now I remember how much time was wasted in line waiting for food when I was in school. It makes so much sense to pack their lunch. How long is lunchtime in schools nowadays? I would love to know how much time is allotted for grade school lunchtime in your area.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. How many times have you heard this? It still holds true. Make sure your child gets a good breakfast every morning before school to help him thrive and be at his best learning capabilities.
Homework and Involvment
Check the backpack
Definitely check their backpack every night! The school will often send home important, time sensitive notices and your kids usually won’t remember to tell you themselves.
Tasheena T. from The Cinnamon Mom
Remain to be supportive and always get involved in your child’s education from start to finish! This will keep them motivated.
Kareen D. from Pink Heart String
I have to agree. Growing up, my parents were always involved in my schooling, not the overbearing PTA kind of parents but the “do your homework before you play” kind of parents. I plan to do the same.
Have everything ready to go the night before on school nights.
Outfits picked out, lunches prepped and bags packed by the door!
Mandy D. from Hustle and Mom
If you are looking for a creative way to document your first and last days of school, check out Pirate Princess Mommy for some FREEBIES!
Also, if you don’t want to buy or print a back to school sign, then check out this cool hack that The Very Best Baby Stuff made.
Here’s a very simple checklist of ways to make things simple for your kiddo on the first day of school from Baby and Life.
I want to thank all of the mothers who gladly shared their best tip for going back to school. I hope that you found this helpful. If you have any other parenting tips for going back to school or starting school for the first time, please share with us. I am always open for more tips!