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3 top tips for for a smooth back to school transition

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It happens every. single. year. Summer flies by and I wonder how we’re already getting ready to head back to school. It’s met with sadness (at least for me)–an end to sleeping in, lazy days at the pool, and, since I’m a Michigan mom–sunshine! My kids are generally full of mixed emotions and I do my best to keep them happy and excited for a fresh start and a new year. Here are a few simple tips to help your children mentally prepare for school.

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1. Talk about it. Every summer my family makes a summer “bucket list”. Well, think about starting a school year bucket list, too. Let the kids pick a few things they really want to learn and do throughout the year. And maybe help them set a few goals for the year. This will help them get excited for school to start so they can cross things off their list.  Since my youngest is just starting preschool (sniff, sniff) and my oldest is starting her first year of middle school, we have a lot of firsts!  We will come up with some age appropriate goals and let the kids design their own bucket lists to hang on the fridge.  While you’re working on this, address any concerns they have.

2.  Let them pick some of their own school supplies.  I know the easy thing is to run to the store when the kids are sleeping and buy everything they need.  And I’m not against you just buying most of their supplies–or waiting for a sale and buying what you can.  But pick a few items that the kids can pick themselves.  Mine love to pick their own backpacks and lunch boxes but they also love finding fun folders or composition notebooks.  I usually spend a few extra dollars on something cute that they just can’t wait to use.
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3.  Go for a visit!  Since two of my children will be at a new school this year, we are planning a few times to visit the school playground over the next few weeks.  It might not seem like much, but it just makes the building seem more familiar–and there might be some playground toys they are so excited to use!  Attend any orientation or meet the teacher events if you can.  And if you can’t, call the school and see if there might be time to take a tour and see the room a different day.
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While getting your kids ready, don’t forget to get yourself ready, too!  I know I’m going to be a mess sending my oldest to middle school and maybe even more of a mess sending my youngest to preschool!  I’m going to plan a coffee date in advance with a few friends so I can have something to look forward to (and a reason to hold the waterworks)!  I’m also going to make my own “bucket list” of things to do with my own kid-free time–the first I’ve had in 10 1/2 years!

Do you have any tips to add?  I’d love to hear how you get your own kids ready for school!

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  • Maryann D.
    August 9, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    This is all great advice! I often shopped with my children to pick out supplies, they enjoyed that. That is a super idea to visit the school ahead of time.

    • Gina
      August 9, 2016 at 9:33 pm

      Thanks! We just went to the preschool playground and my 3-year-old cannot wait to go back now. So glad we stopped by.