Keep things simple and easy. Buy clothes that can be interchangeable so you’re not searching for the one shirt that goes with the one pair of clean pants.
The first day is always chaotic. The buses are late, nobody knows where to go, so allow yourself, your kids and others around you some slack.
Talk to your kid about what to expect as well as your expectations for their routines. Talk about bullying, how much homework they might have and rules of going back to school. Talk about things like rules about video game play, when homework is expected to be done, bedtimes and mealtimes, etc. during the school year. This will help get everyone on the same page.
Crayola is the only brand of crayons to buy. That is all.
School and homework isn’t a punishment. If you send your kids to their rooms to read when they’re bad or do their school work as a punishment or as a replacement of their usual tv or free time, it’s going to become something they dread doing. Figure out a schedule and compromises that work for your family and allow them time for both work and play.
Be consistent. If you only care about their work and routines some of the days, so will they. Find a routine and embrace it. Make it a point of having similar expectations every day.
Be there. I always get sad when I hear of kids who were in bad situations because they had no one to turn to and end up hurting themselves or making bad choices. These are the kids who are targets for bullying and abuse. Be the one who your kids can come to talk to when they have issues, fears and concerns. If your kids have friends who are in trouble, be a safe haven for all.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Things like homework and being on time is important, but if you find yourself and your kids in tears over reading that last page when they’re overwhelmed and exhausted or you screaming at them because they forgot to brush their teeth one morning, take a deep breath, and think about the bigger picture.
Be prepared. One of the most helpful things to do to be prepared for whats coming in advance. Pick out school clothes and get backpacks packed the night before, don’t leave homework until the last minute. I often forget to do this in my daily hectic rush and then pay for it later. It’s the worst thing to find out no one has clean underwear while trying to get dressed in the morning.
The calendar is your friend. Tack one to the wall with each day’s events written down for all to see. Our schedules are hectic with a million things going on, appointments here or there, after school events and rotating P.E. days for the kids. Keep it all visible in one place in a handy location so everyone in the family can keep up to date with what’s going on.