An organized approach to school is the key to ensuring that your child is set to thrive when the school year officially begins. You can give your children the tools they need to enjoy a healthy and productive school term by making sure that they are in good physical shape and armed with the supplies that they need to succeed in school. Below are 10 ways to prepare your child to head back to school.
1) Schedule your annual physical examination.
Preparing for school often means ensuring that children are healthy and properly vaccinated. Children who plan to play sports may also be required to complete a sports physical examination prior to playing on a school team. Physical exams are typically offered by pediatricians and general practitioners. Many local walk-in health clinics offer physical exams as well. In addition to keeping an electronic copy of your healthcare records, you should consider keeping a hard copy in an easily accessible tray or storage place.
2) Take inventory of your closets.
A well-organized closet will help children get ready faster in the morning. If uniforms are required, make sure your child has plenty of properly fitting uniform separates readily available. Additionally, you should take the following steps to optimize space in closets and drawers:
- Remove any clothing that no longer fits your child
- Discard any soiled or torn clothing
- Consider donating any clothing that has not been worn in over a year
- Store heavy sweaters and coats in the back part of the closet to allow easy access to summer items
3) Stock up on school supplies.
Required school supplies will vary with a child’s age. Generally speaking, children of all ages will need paper, pens or pencils, folders, and notebooks. Older children who prepare and submit their assignments electronically will need spare power cords, device chargers, earbuds, and flash drives.
4) Make room for new books.
Whether you are a college student or the parent of a high school student, you know that the start of the new school year is synonymous with an increase in books and other reading material. You can add to your reading enjoyment by making a creating a special place for your new books. Cycling enthusiasts will enjoy storing their books between these bicycle bookends while animal lovers will enjoy a set of hand-carved elephant bookends.
5) Schedule an appointment with your insurance agent.
This is especially important if you have children who are old enough to drive or who are headed to college. You will want to make sure that your child has the proper coverage, including the following:
- Automobile insurance. Be sure to inquire about discounts for earning good grades.
- Renter’s insurance. This is a must for college students living in an apartment.
- Health insurance. Many universities offer attractive insurance coverage for students.
6) Arrange a tour of your new school.
One of the best ways to increase a student’s comfort level with a new school is to take a tour of the grounds. Request a copy of your child’s schedule and show him or her where classes will begin. Also, make sure your children know how to access the following:
- The principal’s office
- The counseling center
- The carpool waiting area
- The nearest exits in case of emergency
7) Make sure you have plenty of book bags and lunch totes.
Discard your worn out backpacks and totes and replace them with dependable new carrying bags and cases. Students can stand out from the crowd by carrying their books and supplies in a durable hand-made tote. Make sure to label your children’s bags with the appropriate contact information in case their belongings are lost or misplaced.
8) Give your laundry area a facelift.
Organizing your laundry area will prepare you for the increase in laundry that accompanies the start of the school year. Consider adding a wall-mounted cabinet with a fold-up ironing board your laundry room to save space. You can also spruce up your laundry room with some hand-made laundry baskets to store your clean and dirty linens.
9) Create a quiet place to study.
Whether you are a college student yourself or the parent of a ten-year old child, you need to make sure that you have access to a quiet place to study. While this may prove to be a challenge if you and your family live in a small apartment or close quarters, you will simply need to get your creative juices flowing. For instance, you can designate certain hours of the day as “quiet time” for all family members. Or, you can carve out a study nook for your child in an area of your home that is relatively quiet and lightly traveled.
10) Set your goals for the school year.
Whether you are a college student setting your own goals or a parent teaching a young child how to set goals, you should post your goals for the school year in a highly visible place in your home. Possible spots include the front of the refrigerator or next to the child’s bedroom mirror. For college students, this may mean establishing a target grade point average (GPA) for the semester or successfully completing a required internship. If you have younger children, you can sit down with your child and outline a simple set of goals for the school year. Examples may include the following:
- Complete all homework assignments by 7:30 each evening
- Earn an improved grade in a challenging subject
- Strive for perfect attendance by staying healthy
By following the tips above, you can begin the school year in an organized fashion and lay a foundation for success. You can even make your back to school planning an annual event by getting all of your family members involved!