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Back to school: Two steps to prep your family for a better school year

Summer is winding down which means the start of school is rapidly approaching! Around this time families are swamped with lots of communications from schools. One of the most important being the school calendar.

As you’re getting your calendar organized and your schedules synced, a bit of advice- plan for how you want to show up. By that I mean, in addition to making sure that all the important school dates are filled in your calendar; schedule time to prep for those important dates.

First, start with scheduling what’s happening.

When taking a look at my child’s school calendar I made note of important dates like:

Sept 1: First day of School

Sept 6 & 8: Hopes and Dreams Conference

Nov. 8th: PD Day (No School for children)

I put these dates in my calendar to make sure that my kids are there. Or not. Check!

Next, plan backwards from that date- based on how you want to feel and how your children want to feel. Schedule time in your calendar to try and make sure that happens.

For example, the first day of school is September 1. I want my children to show up rested, relaxed, and excited for a new year. And in talking to my children they want to feel excited, cute, and prepared.

So, that means for me, 2-3 weeks before school (like now, yikes), I need to start adjusting their bedtimes to prepare them for an earlier wake up time. That’ll ensure that they’re rested. To do this, I put a reminder in my phone to bring up school and have conversations about how they are feeling about the start of the year. With the adjusted bedtime, the upcoming school year will be top of mind, so conversations will happen naturally…but it never hurts to write things down when you’re trying to be intentional. Finally, I want them to be excited for the new school year. So I can begin to do some goal setting and foreshadowing of some of the cool things they are going to learn. I am anticipating receiving an introduction letter from my children’s teachers any day, and that should help build some excitement.

They want to feel cute- so I guess there’s some outfit planning and hair that needs to be scheduled. Additionally, to feel prepared, I’ll turn their school list into a checklist and let them supervise checking things off.

And just like that, one extra step and a few extra minutes, contributes to us not only being where we need to be, but showing up like we want.

Last week I went to vote in our state’s primaries. I had voting on my calendar. But what I didn’t have on my calendar was time to do a deep dive into the candidates. This meant that I had to scramble and do research at the last minute. Ultimately I was confident about my choices, but under pressure, hurried, and rushed is not how I wanted to feel.

Similarly, that’s not how you want to feel during your work day or sitting outside your child’s room thinking about what you’re going to say during your child’s first parent-teacher conference. No, you want to give yourself time to think, to talk to your child, talk to your partner, etc., so you know what you want to say and what you need to learn.

And when it comes to PD days, I can start thinking about how I want us to spend that day home. Our local library has passes to the zoo and other local attractions. Maybe that first PD day will be our first family field trip. And I can schedule to pick up the free pass the day before.

We hope these ideas get your school year off to a smooth start and set the foundation for an awesome year!

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