With the summer equinox, we’ve just celebrated the official start of summer. However, it won’t be long until those school bells ring and it’s time to start a new school year.

As you enjoy these last few weeks of grilling out, catching fireflies, and lounging poolside, it’s helpful to think ahead. Soon, you’ll have a new routine and planning now can help everyone in your family adjust when that time comes.

Today, we’re sharing 10 tips to help you embrace this new school year with clarity, organization, and, most importantly, a positive outlook!

Get a head start before the new school year begins.

1. Schedule Medical Visits

Most schools require that your children have up-to-date medical forms before they attend the first day of school. Instead of waiting until the last minute, go ahead and schedule those visits now if you haven’t already done so. This way, you can avoid the mad rush that happens the week before everyone goes back.

If your school issued a specific form, go ahead and bring that with you. Many pediatricians will also have their own copies they can supply as well.

2. Shop Early

As soon as your child’s teacher sends their back-to-school supply list, make sure you hit the aisles. While you might be able to snag a special deal later in the summer, you’ll also be shopping with every other parent in your city. This means the shelves will be picked over, and you could wind up driving all over town just to find that elusive 2-inch binder.

There are still plenty of ways to save money on school supplies, even if you shop early. Here’s a helpful list of ways you can cut costs without cutting corners.

3. Talk Out Those Big Feelings

Heading into a new grade can be overwhelming for any student, whether they’re entering kindergarten or starting their senior year of high school. To avoid a last-minute meltdown in the car rider line, talk to your children now about any anxieties or concerns they have.

Ask them to share their thoughts and feelings, and be ready to talk about how you’re doing, too. Go over what they can expect, any new changes to anticipate, and what their schedule will look like. With these details, they know exactly what to plan for, which can help erase some of the worry and confusion they might feel.

4. Create a Routine

Over the summer, your family’s daily routine will understandably slacken just a little bit. The kids may sleep in later or take advantage of the extended sunlight to stay up longer.

While this is enjoyable, it can make it difficult to snap into a more stringent school routine down the road. A few weeks before the big day, start to slowly implement a more organized schedule. This might mean setting family alarm clocks to wake at a certain time, or turning off the lights a little earlier before bed.

This will help them get used to the changes by the time the first day of school rolls around, and it won’t be such a jarring shift.

5. Create a Checklist

It’s no secret that both children and adults thrive with structure. However, as any parent knows, it can be difficult to juggle the demands of school and home and keep everyone on track. This is where a good, old-fashioned checklist comes in.

As a family, create a list of things to do and prepare the night before school. This might include:

  • Completing an evening hygiene routine (bathe, brush teeth, brush hair).
  • Setting out clothes to wear the next day.
  • Prepping or packing lunches.
  • Packing book bags.
  • Going to bed at a designated time.

Then, create a getting-ready-for-school checklist that lists everything that needs to be completed in the morning before heading out the door. This includes steps such as:

  • Getting dressed.
  • Eating a healthy breakfast.
  • Completing a morning hygiene routine (wash face, brush teeth, brush hair).
  • Leaving by a designated time.

6. Stock the Fridge

It’s important to prepare kids for the new school year. However, it’s equally important to prep your fridge! As we move into the fall, try to keep plenty of healthy snacks on hand for those inevitable after-school cravings.

A few low-sugar, tooth-friendly munchies include:

  • Fresh fruit and veggies.
  • Cheese.
  • Yogurt.
  • Plain nuts.

A well-stocked fridge means your little ones will have plenty of options when they’re ready to refill their bellies after a big day of learning.

7. Pencil in Free Time

It’s all too easy to get wrapped up in the busyness of autumn. While you plan play dates, school events, family functions, and sports games, don’t forget to allow plenty of downtime for your kids.

As much as they need stimulation and education, they also need fresh air and sunshine. This is a beautiful season to be outside, so look for local parks, playgrounds, and walking trails that you can explore in the evenings and on the weekends. Even setting up a picnic in the backyard can be a refreshing, peaceful change.

8. Create a Homework Spot

It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but try to create a designated homework spot in your house. This might be a corner of your child’s room, a spot on the kitchen table, or a desk in the home office. By doing this, you can keep all of their supplies in one organized area, and you don’t wind up tripping on loose papers scattered everywhere.

If you can, look for ways to make this spot special for your child. Post family pictures nearby, or add a corkboard where they can proudly display their work.

9. Reach Out to Your Child’s Teacher

As early as you can, reach out to your child’s teacher. If there isn’t a formal meet-and-greet time, you can always send an email or use your school’s messaging system to communicate.

Introduce yourself, share any questions or concerns that you might have, and ask how you can support your child’s classroom learning at home. Establishing this relationship and opening this channel can help the rest of the school year go more smoothly.

10. Don’t Forget Family Time

Did you know that quality family time can actually improve your child’s performance at school? A safe and healthy home environment is critical to their emotional, physical, and mental well-being.

If possible, seek to eat at least two dinners each week at home with one another. While this can be difficult when everyone is on the go, it’s worth trying to coordinate schedules. The gift of security and togetherness is one of the most beneficial things you can give your children.

Embrace This New School Year With Confidence

With the right steps in place, you can look ahead to this new school year more confidently than ever! The key is to have the right mindset and balance, which you can achieve when you start early.

As your family gears up, our dental team is here for you. Feel free to reach out to our office to ask questions, get more information, or schedule an appointment!