The time is coming when the kids will be waking up early, having a balanced breakfast — a.k.a. a frozen waffle — and heading through the double doors to their first day of school. As I prepare to send three kids off to school, the first day sort of worries me. Three kids, three classrooms, three sets of supplies and shiny new backpacks seem overwhelming.
After handing it last year — sort of successfully — I’ve come up with four first day of school tips to make the whole process easier! Whether you have one kid or six, the first day of school does not have to be a disaster!
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Tip #1: Plan, plan, plan
Last year I got to my first grader’s classroom and realized I had forgotten half of her school supplies at home. I had ample opportunity to get the supplies to her classroom ahead of time. I could have ordered the pre-made packs that are on desks on day one. I could have brought all of the supplies to our Meet the Teacher night. Or I could have sorted and stacked the supplies in my car the night before.
Planning makes a huge difference when remembering things for the first day of school. Now, I make a list and check it the week before, the day before, and the morning of to make sure I’ve done everything from charging the camera battery for first day of school photos to laying out my children’s clothing in a dog hair-free zone.
Tip #2: Take the oldest to their room first
Since I have three going to school at the same time, I’m needed in all classrooms. I can’t be three places at once, so I have to figure out a game plan ahead of time. My daughter, who is going into fourth grade, is starting to get embarrassed by her mom. She’s already said I can drop her off and go. So, with that, I can drop her off first, then take my second grader, and then take my first grader, who will need the most time from mom on the first day of school.
Tip #3: Plan that early bedtime — for you, too
I’m a night owl. The condition is aggravated when I have things to do the next day. But the night before the first day of school, we all need to be in bed early. So a few weeks before school starts, I start prepping myself and my kids for the rigors of scheduled life again. I send them to bed 30 minutes earlier every night until we’re back to an acceptable school bedtime. I do the same for me so I’m energized and ready for the day, as well. Plus, we all know the kids are coming home tired and cranky and if I’m well rested, I can deal with it better!
Tip #4: Relax
It will all get done. That’s my motto. But after the seemingly endless trips to the store for clothing, supplies, backpacks, lunch supplies, and more, the first day of school always seems a bit overwhelming for me. I try to tell myself to relax and that it will all get done. And it does. My daughter probably doesn’t even remember I forgot her supplies. Relax and try to enjoy all of the fun and excitement of a new school year. It will help your kids relax, too!
All that matters on the first day of school is that the kids are dressed, well fed, and happy to head to school. Everything else will just fall into place!