(BPT) - It seems like you just adjusted to managing your children's summer schedules, juggling camps and making sure all that free time doesn't get them in trouble. Now it's time to switch gears. Summer is nearly over and school is about to begin.
Back-to-school time might mean new outfits, reconnecting with old friends and fun new classes for your kids, but it is not uncommon to feel like your brain is in a bit of a scramble.
Despite the impending chaos, with a little planning you can glide right into back-to-school mode and be on top of your game. Here are some tips to make the transition seamless.
1. Start early. You've probably heard that it's never too early to get your back-to-school shopping done. This is true - in fact, the number one rule for back-to-school success is: Don't procrastinate! Before summer is over, start getting the kids back on a normal sleep schedule and make sure they know where the bus stop is or what route to take to get to school. The earlier you start, the easier their first day will be!
2. Prepare lunches ahead of time. Who wants to go through the mad dash of packing a lunch in the morning when you're already pressed for time? Take 15 or 20 minutes on Sunday to make sandwiches (for freshness, keep the bread separate from meat or other toppings) and divide snack items like Snack Factory(R) Original Pretzel Crisps(R) into small bags. You'll be amazed at how much easier it will be to get your kids out the door!
3. Digitize and post schedules. There have probably been times that you thought you might need a personal assistant to keep track of everyone's activities and schedules. In addition to hanging up a calendar you can easily mark up, take advantage of calendar software that allows you to sync with your entire household so everyone gets automated reminders and updates.
4. Keep after-school snacks on hand. The last thing you want is to come home to hungry kids after a long day at work, especially if you have teenagers who seem to always be asking for something to eat. Keeping a well-stocked pantry with snacks like Pretzel Crisps, which are made with no trans fat, saturated fat or cholesterol, is the simple and tasty way to keep your kids satisfied.
5. Set up a command center for your kids. Parenting is largely a battle against chaos. What is clean and tidy one minute is a mess the next. This is not a situation you want to be in the first week of school! Set up designated stations in your home where your kids can keep school supplies, shoes and outerwear.
By rolling up your sleeves and staying organized, you might even find that getting the school year off to a smooth start can be surprisingly easy. Now, if you can just make doing homework and bedtime so simple!