Last year was rough, but we made it and I know we are all ready to get back to something resembling our old routines. While some aspects of our lives slowed down with classes and sports being cancelled, other areas ramped up with working from home, having our kids around full time (and never leaving our sides), and playing teacher.
Perhaps the most exciting thing about the upcoming school year is that it will likely be fairly close to normal, which means it’s time to prepare and get ready. Here are a few ideas for enjoying back-to-school preparation like it’s meant to be enjoyed.
You deserve a little shopping spree, even if it is for pencils and other school supplies. Don’t give in to the purchasing of supplies that will be boxed and ready for your kids this year. Gather the lists of what they’ll need and make a day out of it. Your kids need to get out and learn how to behave in stores again too, so this would be a fun way to remind them of those manners they used to have, and you can reminisce about all the home-schooling moments from last year at the same time.
Buy Real Clothes
As a parent you’ll need these again too, for ice cream socials and parent-teacher conferences, but I’m talking about school clothes for your kids. As much as I hate to admit it, my kids fell into wearing pajamas and/or sweatpants all day too. Head to the mall (yes, they are still there) and let your kids pick out some items that will make them feel good. Make the experience even more fun by having a try-on session or fashion show when you get home. Create a TikTok or Reels video and you’ll be the cool parent too. It might seem silly and I know most everyone does back-to-school shopping in one form or another, but this year try to make it a little more special.
Prepare a Back-to-School Breakfast
Plan to treat the kids to special breakfast foods before they head out to school on the first day. If you want to enjoy one last long breakfast with them, plan it for the day or weekend before they start. If your kids love doughnuts, you can spice it up by making a doughnut decorating bar with some of their favorite toppings. It’s not that complicated and they’ll love it.
You can also take this in another direction, and plan a back-to-school breakfast for you and the other parents on the block, with bagels and mimosas to start as soon as the kids get on the bus. Maybe even bust out the party on the lawn. Let’s be real – we’re excited they are going back, so why not celebrate?
Set a Schedule Now
While I know it’s summer and schedules should be a little more laid back, save yourself the morning drama by implementing the bedtime and wake-up times now. Just do it, before it’s too late and you are screaming at your child to wake up and then running to flag down the bus. They might not like it, but it’s going to help everyone out in the end and make for calm and lovely mornings. No promises that your children will take to said schedule – mine still don’t get it and we are heading into the fourth grade – but it’s worth a shot.
As much as I hate to say this, buy a couple masks and mentally prepare for anything. We don’t know how this fall will go down, and you don’t want to be the one searching everywhere for masks when they are all gone. Grab a disposable pack now while they are everywhere. Stock up on other things too, like disinfectant wipes for you and the class, hand sanitizer, and Kleenex, so you can be prepared should the available inventory take a dive.
Thank Your Teachers
We are all going to have new teachers in our lives come August, about whom we know very little, but thank them anyway, every time you see them. Thank them for emailing you that your child didn’t behave very well on a certain day. Thank them for sending your sick child to the nurse. Thank them for just being them, and sticking through all this like champs. They really deserve more than thanks, but just keep thanking them and letting them know how appreciated they are.
We wish you a wonderful almost-fully-back-to-normal school year!