Everyone is scrambling to get one last bit of summer vacation this long weekend. If you are a mama with a child of school age, you know that August is not only the last month of vacation, it is also the month for back-to-school preparation. This is the first year of real school for my oldest. It’s kindergarten time! Last year he attended a preschool three hours a day and I was heartbroken (read about our first day here). This will be a whole new ball game.
When your first child begins school, your whole family lifestyle literally changes. My husband and I both work from home, and I have written before that although we have a routine, we never need to rush in the morning to start our days. As well, I have parented along the side of “go with the flow” thus far. If the kids were having an off day, I would simply change my plans. I have been that fortunate.
Well, not anymore. From waking up to preparing the day to planning the afternoons, everything will have a set schedule and as a mama, I will have to be the most organized for the whole family. So how do you prepare for such a change? Here’s how I am tackling it:
1.The summer bucket list
Ever since our vacation planning months ago, I have felt the need to get a lot of really fun things done with my little one as a family before school. While some of the bucket list items have been simple, others have required a lot of planning. Whatever the case may be, you want to enjoy this time, not overdo it. My bucket list has included:
- enjoy swimming as a family
- go to the zoo
- have a picnic
- read stories about going to school
- see a family movie in the theatre
- build a tent
- visit the local farm
- collect sticks and rocks in the forest
Whatever you and your child will enjoy should make it on your bucket list. Of course, when school starts, you will still have weekends, but from what other mamas tell me, time flies. So I am trying to get the most done now. The point is to have quality time with your child. It will help them open up and talk to you about all their feelings about school.
2.The school itinerary
The school has given me a list of items necessary for my little one to start school this year. The list was simple enough, and after a few flyers in the mail and comparison shopping, I managed to get the list done fairly easily (more on my top picks soon).
I made my own list as well, which included other things he will need like new running shoes, gym clothes, a fall jacket, etc. It doesn’t seem like much, but when everyone is hitting the stores at the same time, sizes run out fast.
3. Clean out the fridge and pantry
4. Make an art display area
Once my guy started preschool, I knew I needed more that one little spot to display his drawings. They come at such a fast pace in the house! So I decided to get an inexpensive poster-size Bristol board and hang it right smack in the kitchen where we can all see. My twins even have a couple of things up on the board as well, and everyone feels very special! I tend to fill it up completely and leave the art displayed until the next theme or holiday is done at school. It’s also a great alternative to a paper stuck kitchen fridge!
5. Carve out a homework station in the home
Ok, so kindergarten might not have homework per say, but my little one loves drawing and colouring every day. So to make him feel like a big boy (and avoid having our kitchen table turn into a craft drop off), I have place a toddler-friendly table in his room. It’s small enough to place in his room and large enough for him to spread out his drawings and have me sit with him as well. You can find a lot of different options for this in unexpected places. IKEA is a good place to check out, in the children’s furniture department. As well, you can try Toys R Us and Walmart.
We decided not to get the adult desk just yet, and have him feel important with his own space. He is very excited about that!
A couple more tips in photos:
|Let them help out: a low deep drawer with toddler dishes and cups gives them some independence|
|A larger deep drawer for plastic containers keeps everything in its place, ready for lunch packing!|