Simple ideas to ease the transition back to school

Ah – the bittersweet blend of urgency and sadness: there are just a few weeks remaining in summer break. Whether you’re excited about school starting again, or you want the summer to last forever, it’s an inevitable next step in the cycle of the year.

We’ve gathered a few pointers to help ease the transition, for both parents and kids. Because as we read in Proverbs…

The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer. Proverbs 30:25

If you’re a kid:

  1. Dust off the old brain
    If you’ve been watching Netflix on repeat and splashing in the pool all summer, now’s the time to get that brains moving again. Check your summer reading list, stop by the library for a few books or grab a new workbook or two. You can even pull out that pile of tests and papers from the end of last year and review them.
  2. Ease back into school schedule
    The late nights and late mornings of summer…can lead to painful wake-ups come school time. Ease back into school mode by gradually rewinding your personal clock. Try transitioning each Monday: wake up and go to sleep 10 minutes earlier, and by the time August rolls around you’ll be back on school schedule.
  3. Clean heart and mind
    Take a few minutes to think about last school year. What went well? What could have gone better? Did you surround yourself with the type of friends that make you better and bring you closer to God? Do you want to make some changes this year – new friends, new activities? If you build a plan now, you’ll be less likely to slip back into old habits.
  4. Go back to school shopping
    You’ve probably grown over the summer – so make a list and invest some of that summer job money into a few new items for school. Whether it’s a new bookbag, outfit, school supplies, getting your band instrument tuned up or new athletic gear, a few new items add excitement and fun to the new year.

If you’re a parent:

  1. Help your children prepare to return to school
    See items 1 to 4 above!
  2. Easy lunch prep
    Designate an easily accessible “lunch station” cabinet with lunchboxes, reusable containers and baggies. Leave room for grab-and-go pantry foods that you can add the week before school. Freeze items like yogurt tubes, cheese, juice boxes and drink bottles – they’ll be ready to consume by lunchtime.
  3. Leverage the night before to encourage morning efficiency
    Make lunches the night before school. Clear a cabinet or table to be a landing area, with labeled space for each kid’s bookbag, shoes, instrument and after school supplies, so they’re easy to grab on the way out. Choose and lay out outfits – clothes and accessories – the night before. Ensure that kids finish their homework the night before as well.
  4. Freshen up the house and car
    A summer of pool towels and toys, sand, and in-house lounging probably have your home and car ready for a deep clean. Start the school year with fresh surroundings by cleaning out that summer detritus and giving the car and house a good scrub. When school is in full swing, you’ll be glad to be clean and organized.

Not only will these ideas help ease the transition back to school, but they’ll also create a little excitement too! Get started today, do a little each day, and you’ll all be ready to make this year the best ever.