first day of school activities

Seven Ways For You and Your Kids To Prepare For The New School Year

Nothing is more exciting, or more daunting, than a new year of school. While it can be tempting to enjoy summer now and worry about school when the time comes, that is a sure way to wind up starting the year behind the curve. Instead of doing that, why not take care of a few tasks today and begin preparing for the year ahead?

  • Work on the Summer Reading List – Once your kids hit middle school age, there will quite likely be a summer reading list. In some districts, this is optional and for extra credit and in other areas it is mandatory. In either case, take the time to obtain the books and encourage your kids to sit down and start reading them now—instead of waiting for the last minute!
  • Play Educational Games Online – The internet has made it easier than ever for kids to stay caught up with what they are learning at school. For younger kids, websites like Starfall and PBSKids provide plenty of edutainment, and older kids may appreciate the activities at If possible, ask your child’s teacher if they have recommendations, the school may even have memberships available at certain sites.
  • Space Out Back to School Shopping – Back to school shopping can be a big expense. However, if you start today and shop the sales, you may be able to save money and avoid a big monetary crunch. Some states even offer “tax-free” shopping periods for back-to-school purchases, so you can plan accordingly. In addition, most kids enjoy the process of picking out new clothes and gear for the new school year.
  • Walk Through the School – Find out if the school offers an open house or another opportunity to walk through the school and learn what to expect. This is especially important if your child will be starting or moving up to a different school. He or she will be more comfortable when the first day arrives.
  • Obtain the Bus Schedule or Plan the Carpool – Nothing is worse than not feeling confident in the transportation plans on the first day of school. Call and find out what the bus route looks like or start talking with the neighbors about what the plans are for this year’s carpool. This can save time and your sanity!
  • Take Care of Registration Requirements – Does your child have his or her immunizations up to date? Do you have a valid copy of a birth certificate? Start looking into these requirements to save yourself from rushing around once the big day arrives.
  • Get Involved – You and your child can both start getting involved with the school now. Talk to someone at the PTA or the volunteer coordinator and find out what you can do to start giving back. This is fun for your child and it can help you make a big difference in the school itself!

While you want to find time to take care of these tasks for the upcoming school year, do not let them get in the way of your summer fun. Make sure you save plenty of time for swimming at the lake, catching fireflies and eating homemade ice cream. After all, summer comes but once a year!



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