It's that time again, back to school. In BC we seem to go back to school a week later than most of Canada and it seems like almost a month later than our friends in the US and the UK. This year, unlike most of my kid's school life we are both preparing to end the summer break and head back to school, she's back to elementary and I'm back to my job promoting and running an in school program. It's going to be a rough transition back for both of us, no more leisurely mornings and plan as we go days.
Although I expect this year to go a bit more smoothly than last year - no strike action to plan around, no new school/no friends issues to worry about - it's still going to be an adjustment. So here's the plan to make that first week of school just a bit easier.
1. Prepare and freeze, heat and go, lunches ahead of time and stock up on fun healthy snacks. I love visiting bulk barn to see what kind of snack sized options they have - I've been able to find some great options like mini bags of Harvest Snapeas, dried fruits, and some fun (less healthy) Japanese snacks as well.
2. Get back into the bedtime and get up and go times the week before. This sounds easy but it's really not! Better to struggle through this the week before school than have to deal with it at the same time as all the other first week of school challenges!
3. Set up the calendar. We have both a shared Google Calendar and a paper calendar. The google calendar lets me add events in anytime anywhere and my husband can see them from wherever he is so he always knows what's going on even if he isn't in the same province. We're big fans of the Ultimate Mom Calendar because of the large spaces and the stickers for all occasions. The paper calendar is a quick visual reference point for my daughter and adds a bit of colour to our kitchen as well!
4. Make sure the backpack and first day (week) outfits are ready to go. This year we plan on riding our bikes a lot, so I was super excited to have won a new pack from Valhalla Pure and Onsight Equipment for the kid. It's got reflective pieces on the front and back of the pack ensuring extra visibility during the ride. It's also the perfect size - not too small but also not too big which should reduce the amount of clutter that typically builds up in her pack over the school year.
5. Plan a great Friday night "We Made It Through Week One" celebration. This one is for you and the kids! You all made it through the first week and a celebration is in order! Head out for dinner or pick up some favourite take out and spend sometime debriefing the first week. What are they excited about, what challenges do they anticipate, what clubs and sports do they think they'll join, what school supplies did you forget to pick up?
Most of all enjoy the year! Each school year brings challenges but also amazing growth and opportunities for your kids, prepare to be amazed!
What great ideas or tips do you have to start the year off strong?