Back to School!

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

We’re just a few weeks away from the start of school in the Fraser Valley. The start of school can feel overwhelming – so many details! – but here are our quick tips for heading back a bit smoother for everyone. Unfortunately, we can’t help you with carpool.

Start the school routine a week early. Most of us get a bit laid back about bedtimes and mealtimes during the long summer days so a few days of going to bed on time and getting up at school time will hopefully reduce the wailing and gnashing of teeth when the alarm goes off.Support
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If you have other during-school rules – like no TV or video games after 8 o’clock, as one brave mother we know attempts – now is the time to start moving in that direction again.  Adapt your family ahead of time to the routines to make the transition a bit smoother.

Plan ahead now. Now is the time to be arranging carpool or mapping the bus route, figuring out who is doing drop-off-and-pick-up, figuring out lunches. Fill out the forms, book the after-school activities and other details to make sure you aren’t scrambling in the school hallway, searching madly for a copy of the immunization records.

Shop local for your school supplies. Instead of driving over the border or into Metro Vancouver, take advantage of the options here in the Fraser Valley to save yourself some time and gas money. Whether you hit the thrift stores, the big box giants or specialty boutiques, there are always options to keep it close to home for everything from paper to laptops, jeans to dress code uniforms.  (As a tip, start with the Fraser Valley Pulse Business Directory.)

Do your prep work ahead of time by scouring the school supply list and making a list of what clothing is actually needed before you head out to avoid giving your budget a big “F.”

Talk! It’s likely you’re not the only one feel a bit tired and overwhelmed, maybe even nervous.  Whether you’ve got your first headed into kindergarten or the youngest of a dozen into grade 12, for each child, it’s a new year. Talk about their goals for the year, about how they’re feeling, about their teacher and their friends.

It’s never too late to start the conversation so that when they really do need to talk, you’ve already established that you’re listening.

Contributor: Sarah Bessey

Sarah Bessey is a marketer, writer and blogger. She lives in Abbotsford for her husband and two children. Twitter: @emergingmummy

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