Back to school season is almost here. After a long summer of travel, sleeping in, and breaking free of routine, facing the reality of homework, exams and after-school activities can be exciting at best and overwhelming at worst. Whether you’re a parent with school-age kids or gearing up for a new college semester, de-stress the season by putting a few simple tips into practice. Read on for four easy steps to start the new school year strong.
1. Restore Your Sleep Routine
Adjusting to a new routine is much more stressful when you’re running on too little sleep. Slowly shift bed and wake-up times (experts say by no more than 15 minutes a day) to acclimate to new routines by the first day of school. For example, if I want to start waking up at 7am and I’m currently sleeping, until 9am, I need to shift my wake up time no less than eight days before school starts. This advice doesn’t just apply to kids, though. If you’re a parent resuming in-person work after a summer of traveling and inconsistent schedules, slowly shifting your sleep schedule will ensure you’re at your sharpest for early morning school drop-off.
You may have heard that consistent bed times are essential for kids, but don’t underestimate their importance for adults. Stable sleep routines regulate your circadian rhythm, resulting in better quality rest and other physical health benefits. Consider a Habit Tracker to keep a record of your sleep schedule and keep you on track.
Tips for restful sleep
- Limit screen time before bed
- Create a wind-down ritual to get in the mood for sleep
- Get exercise and natural light during the day
2. Make a Checklist
The easiest way to combat the overwhelming sense of too much to do with too little time? Make a checklist. Physically writing down your to-dos is a way of “decluttering” your mind. Not sure where to start? We've put together a back-to-school checklist for parents for inspiration:
One Month Ahead
One Week Ahead
3. Gather Your Supplies
Now for the fun part—school supply shopping! Getting excited over the little things, like picking out the perfect notebook and pen, provides a sense of confidence when beginning a new chapter. Not sure where to start? For older students (or parents looking for a dose of organization), we recommend a planner, classic notebook, and the perfect ballpoint pen. For younger students, explore our Kids Collection, a set of charming tools to inspire learning & self-reflection in cute and kid-friendly hues.
School essentials for parents and older students
- The perfect planner (not sure which to choose? take our planner quiz to find your perfect fit)
- A notebook or workbook for note-taking
- A favorite pen, pencil, and highlighter
- Adhesives for ultra-organized note-taking.
- A clipboard
- Folders for organizing important papers
4. Make Big Picture Plans
Whether the first day of kindergarten or the first day of high school, returning to the classroom after a few months away can be intimidating. It’s also the perfect opportunity to think about where the new year will take you and dream big for what you can achieve with the power of education. Start talking with your kid about what changes they might see in the new school year—like starting an art class or gaining new responsibilities. The more you repeat these conversations, the more prepared kids will be for changes to come (and minimize first-day melt-downs). For older students, provide more structure with a daily or weekly planning sheet—encourage them to fill in goals, tasks, and chores to help them get back in the swing of a new routine. Check out Appointed’s free Digital Downloads for kid-friendly print-outs, project planning worksheets, and more.
After a long summer, heading back to the classroom can be stressful for kids (and parents!). But as long as you ease into the transition with structure and communication, this time of year can be a time to dream big, learn together, and embrace a new season of change.
P.S. now is the time to save on back to school supplies—take 25% off everything sitewide with code BACK2IT through Friday 7/29 only.