Do you dread the school year as it approaches? The stress of preparations, homeschool or not, can often cause anxiety to well up in us as mamas. As we all know, the back to school season is here. I’m not trying to rush summer for you, but I do want to help prepare you for a stress-free start to the academic year. I don’t want anyone to feel more overwhelmed or crazy during this busy time. We already talked about how to teach your kids to read stress-free in 15 minutes or less. So, today, we are going to discuss five tips for a stress-free start to the school year so we can continue with the stress free theme!
Stress-Free Tips for Back to School
Some of us might be trying to forget that school is going to be starting again soon. Summer goes by SO FAST. I am sure that a lot of us love summer because it tends to be an easier time for us. I’m a homeschool mom, as many of you know, and summer is a lot easier because I don’t have to worry about lesson planning and devoting what seems like hours and hours of my day teaching my children. If you homeschool, then I know you know how much work that is.
Summers are a lot more enjoyable and peaceful. I get a lot more time to work and to play with the kids. When the school year hits, it’s pedal to the metal, busy, busy, busy, so I have to make sure I am extra prepared for whatever may come. Back to school is a difficult time because it causes a switch with routines that have now become the new normal over the past few months. These five tips for a stress free back to school transition are going to help you and your kids to switch gears and transition with ease.
Ease Back to School Stress Free
- Pray With Your Kids
You should pray with and for your kids in every season, but it is even more imperative when school starts. If you homeschool, pray before schooling starts. Pray for your lessons that day and that the focus is Jesus. This will help your kids no matter what the subject or material is. You are helping your children get their minds focused on the day when you pray at the start. Starting your schooling off with prayer should become a routine.
If you send your kids to school, it’s so important that their minds are focused on God. When they are on school grounds, you’re no longer the one who is providing knowledge and wisdom. They are hearing things from peers, teachers, and coaches. Our children need the protection of prayer and to be prayed over because they are being sent to the wolves.
Unfortunately, you have no control over what others are pouring into them. I’m not trying to talk bad about teachers or other students. I’m talking about our kids being taught so many things, some are Godly and some are not, and we need to protect our children. If we’re not there to protect them physically, we need to protect them through prayer. Praying with and for your children should be part of your everyday life, but especially when you’re sending off your kids to school. I have a couple of podcast episodes that cover praying with your children. Prayer is an important way to start your day no matter where you are headed or what you plan to do!
2. Prepare Ahead of Time
If you homeschool…
Then try to have at least the first two weeks of lessons prepared ahead of time. It’s hectic those first couple of weeks back to school and if you don’t have those lessons prepared in advance then you will be scrambling around. If you struggle to find time then my Ditch The Overwhelm course shows you how to create that time. But, until you take the course, just do your best to set aside a little bit of time each day and focus on one subject that day and what you want to plan.
You could do this each day, one subject per day, until you have a few weeks planned out. In 1-2 weeks, you would have the first two weeks planned out! That makes it so much easier each morning you wake up to get started on school. Then you can continue this throughout your school year. Get ahead so that you are not having to scramble around at the last minute or trying to figure out in the morning what you are going to teach your kids. By planning ahead, you can have all the materials and equipment ready.
If you are not a homeschool mom…
Make sure you have the first two weeks of your own schedule planned out. That way you can make sure that you have time devoted to your kids when they come home from school. This is going to be a really crazy time for them.
Whether your kids been going to school for years and they’re in high school, they are just starting out in kindergarten, or anywhere in between, this is a time full of chaos because everything in their life has shifted once again. Just make sure that you have time planned out so that you are available to spend time with them, help with their schoolwork, answer questions, or talk about their day. When you plan out your time, then you are not constantly thinking about what needs to get done because you already got it done or have a different time planned for it.
Routines Make a Smooth Transition
3. Start the New Routine Early
Going back to school brings about a need for a new routine. Start practicing your new routine a week or so before the kids start school, that way they are able to get somewhat used to the new routine. Make this routine just like they were getting ready for school, whether that’s homeschooling or attending school outside the home. Make sure the bedtime is adjusted for school time so everyone’s body and mind can be adjusted before school actually starts. Start getting them up like they would for school and getting ready for the day. Set up meals to reflect what school will look like and how they will be situated.
Having these routines in place helps everyone’s bodies get accustomed to doing school again. Starting early provides a stress-free environment for you and the kids, once school actually starts because you all have already been practicing it. If you start waking them up at 6 am to get ready for school on the first day, then it is going to be awfully difficult. If you homeschool and you don’t have a hard start time for school, then that is fine but you do need to develop some sort of routine. Routines are easier for kids and help them to focus. If they are going to bed late and they have to wake up early, then it’s going to be really difficult. So make sure you have a bedtime routine and get that week of practice. This will make the transition back to school easier and smoother.
Plan, Plan, Plan!
Tip #4 – Plan Your Meals
Get the meals planned a week ahead of school starting and do all of the shopping. You might have to return to the store for a few items closer to time because not all things keep for a week. If you have it all planned out and you get all the basics, you know you have all the staples in your fridge, and in your pantry, then you are prepared. This helps your mind as a mom be able to focus on everything else that is happening during this busy season. If you have your meals planned, that’s one less thing you have to focus on. I have an episode that talks about meal planning and meal prep. With meals being one less thing to focus on, then you are able to focus more on your kids during this transition.
Back to School Guide for Moms
5. Decide What’s Okay to Leave Behind
This is a hard one. It’s super hard for me! I like to know that everything is in its place. I am a big planner and scheduler, but I know that during the first few weeks of school there is usually something that I might fall a little behind on. If I plan ahead of time what I am okay with falling behind on then, if that happens, I’m not stressed out. I’m not giving myself such a hard time and I’m not panicking. You are going to have a lot of stuff going on, hopefully nothing difficult, but you’re still going to be busy just because this transition affects everyone. So maybe something in the house isn’t getting cleaned? That’s okay!
You told yourself, “I have no time. It’s okay that the cleaning is a little behind schedule.” Now, I am going to make sure that there are no disasters, of course. No one wants a smelly house. I’m talking about the basics and to be a little behind is okay! You have decided what works for you and you have prepared yourself mentally and emotionally. There might be time to get it all done and that would be amazing. But, if not, then you do not have to be in a panic or worried about it because you prepared yourself.
School transition doesn’t need be full of stress!
The first couple weeks of school are hectic. There is no way around that but these 5 tips can help you prepare for a stress-free back-to-school experience. To recap those tips, make sure you pray with Your Kids. Pray for their day. Pray with them in every season but especially during the school season. Prepare ahead of time. if you homeschool then plan the first couple of weeks ahead of time. If your kids go to school outside the home, then plan your own schedule out so that you have time to focus on your kids.
Next, start your new routines early. Begin that new routine a week or so prior to school starting. Four, meal plan and prep for the first week or so, And lastly, decide what is okay to let go. You have to decide what can give. It’s okay if some cleaning doesn’t get done.
These 5 tips are going to help set you and your kids up for a successful stress-free school year. If you are prepared and have planned ahead, then starting the school year, whether in your home or outside your home, will go a lot smoother. You will feel more relaxed and will be able to enjoy the time with your kids!
Love you Mama!
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