A Back-to-School Checklist for Families
After three months of fun in the sun, it’s time to grab backpacks, go supply shopping and round up your children, because it’s time to go back to school! This can be a stressful time for many parents, making it easy to forget essentials. Good news, the panic and stress can be avoided by following a few pieces of advice
- Make plans for before and after school. Research local before and after school programs your child can participate in while one or both parents are working. Many YMCA’s offer before and after school care, as well as art classes and sports programs to keep children entertained and engaged. These programs are often located right on site in the schools or bussing may be available to the local YMCA.
- Set regular bedtimes. Summer vacation can change a child’s sleeping pattern, so make sure your children go to bed at a reasonable hour. Have them turn off phones and computers to make it easier to fall asleep. Start the back to school routine a week before school actually starts to get yourself and your kids ready.
- Read up on what is new with your child’s school. Check in with schools before classes begin to stay up-to-date with changes and new policies that may have taken place during the summer. Visit the school’s Facebook page or contact the office directly.
- Set yourself up for organizational success. Create a system for organizing clothes, supplies and food so that mornings are less chaotic.
- Go over the school supplies list. Double-check the supply list and review your child’s current items and equipment — see what needs to be purchased, replaced or cleaned. Let your children in on the fun too. Allow them to pick out their own backpack, lunchbox, etc. This is a great way to get them excited for school and give them a little bit of responsibility too.
- Set up a homework station. Structure can be hard to come by after a summer of fun, so together with your child set up a work area in your home — whether it is a desk or the kitchen table — and designate a time for doing homework and studying. Make sure to choose a time when you are available in case your child needs your help.
- Be there. Ask your children to tell you how their day went. Let your child know that you want to hear all about it. Ask follow-up questions to help you understand what he or she is saying.
Going back to school does not have to be stressful. A little preparation before the big day can help you enjoy the last of your summer vacation. By planning ahead and using these easy strategies, you can ensure a smooth transition for the whole family. To learn more about child care opportunities including before and after school programs offered at The Granite YMCA, please visit www.graniteymca.org/child-care.
About The Granite YMCA
As one of the state’s longest standing and most enduring non-profits, The Granite YMCA focuses on youth development, healthy living, social responsibility, and family strengthening. Across the state, its six branches engage 30,000 men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to improve their health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. In 2017, The Granite YMCA provided financial assistance and free services valued at over $1.7 million to 22,890 individuals. To learn more, please visit www.graniteymca.org.