Back to school basics

Back to school basics

by Jessica Zen
Stripes Japan

Whether you are pumped to send the kids back to school or bummed that you have to wake up way too early, it’s best to be prepared for the upcoming school year. After a summer of lax bedtimes, playdates and vacations, getting back into a good routine can be challenging. For the best summer to school transition, take a look at these back to school basic tips.

  • Get organized- From assignments to upcoming appointments, have some sort of planning system. For students: write down all assignments in a planner or have special folders for each subject to avoid missing homework. For parents: keep a master schedule, whether it be on a phone app or on a calendar hanging on the fridge. Never miss a meeting with a teacher, doctor or friend by writing everything down.
  • Buy the supplies- Each new school year starts with a laundry list of supplies. From backpacks to various colored highlighters, it’s important that students aren’t concerned about having the necessities when school starts. Don’t miss out on the basics by checking out the DoDEA Europe official supplies list. Additional supplies may be requested by teachers once the year starts.
  • Start a sleep schedule- With the sun setting late and summer festivities lasting well after nightfall, bedtimes may have gone by the wayside. Start incorporating a bedtime and wake up time with an alarm a week before school starts. This will ensure students aren’t drowsy from a dramatic change in schedule. They will be awake, alert and ready to learn if they are already used to waking up early.
  • Make time for breakfast- To improve concentration in young minds and jump-start metabolism, it’s important to start the day with breakfast. Whether it be eggs or a quick granola bar, get an energy boost before walking out the door.
  • Stock up on snacks- It’s no secret that kids are hungry when they get home from school. Having snacks already prepared ahead of time makes for an easy school to home transition. Think sliced apples and peanut butter, frozen yogurt grapes or banana bites.
  • Set up a homework station- Having a set area and time frame for homework will help kids stay on track. Make sure there is ample space, lighting and writing utensils to complete assignments. Remember, consistency is key to getting into a quality school year routine!
  • Lay out the next day’s clothes- Kids love to dilly dally in the mornings. Regardless of sleep schedules, it can be tough getting everyone moving in the morning. Take the guesswork out of the day’s wardrobe by setting out clothes the night before. Not digging through drawers or looking for clean socks will save time in the morning.
  • Turn in sports physicals- Older students playing on sports teams are required to have a physical on file. Don’t wait until the last minute to turn these in. Appointments with physicians are sometimes hard to get and practices often start before the school year. Stay ahead of the game by making sure your student is up to date on his/her sports physical.
  • Get appointments out of the way- From the dentist to the hair stylist, getting appointments on base can be tricky outside of school hours. Try to schedule hair cuts, braces tightening, physicals and other appointments outside of school hours so that students don’t have to be called out of class. The best time to do this is before school even starts.

Transitioning back into the school year can be hard. With these tips and tricks, hopefully both parents and children can get back in the swing of things without too much stress. Take control of the 2018-2019 school year before it even starts and ensure success. Who knows, this could be the year everyone earns straight A’s! 




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