Mom of two Mischievous Monkeys: Back to School: Tips for getting ready

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Back to School: Tips for getting ready

It is now the time of year when I start to prep for back to School for the kids. School supplies have been bought and now the work of going through my kids closets and drawers for outgrown clothes begins. Despite that,  I am only cautiously optimistic that they will actually be back in School in a couple weeks.

You can read a detailed timeline here of the events here  however, basically back in April the Teachers, having voted in favour of job action back in March, started Phase 1 Job action. This meant they refused to communicate with school Administrators, would arrive no more than an before and leaving an hour after school hours, and would not supervise students outside of class time. 

This last point  resulted in about a dozen school districts across BC cancelling recess. In May Phase 2 Job action started with rotating strikes. By June teachers voted again on escalating and on June 17th Phase three Job action started, meaning that a full-scale strike commenced.  So Parents who dropped their kids off at School that day quickly learned that it was actually the last day of School.



Here we are in August, the two sides have been meeting and if it starts to look like they are close to an agreement, a mediator will be called into help settle a contract.

In the meantime, we are working on taking steps to ease the transition to our busy Fall schedule.

Naturally, there can be a disappointment for kids that Summer is over and at the same time, excitement about getting to see friends at school. Missing their friends is a big one for us since they both attend choice school programs they don’t see ALL their friends from school over the Summer since the majority don’t live in our  neighbourhood and there just isn't enough time to schedule in visits with them all!. 

 Along with the excitement though, there can also be anxiety over who their teacher will be and what the school year will bring. Especially since normally before the end of the School Year I have had a chance to talk to my kids teachers  and have an idea of which teacher they think will be the best fit for the kids and therefore who they will recommend they be placed with for a teacher.

Below are some tips for gearing up for back to school. One thing I have noticed since strike is that more and more families I know are considering home schooling. I have a cousin who home schools  some of her kids and the older children attend a private school. Coincidentally, she too has a Blog! These tips will work for either situation.

1.It is important to get back into a routine that will mimic that of your School time Schedule, especially with bed times for the kids as during summer they usually stay up later and sleep in {sometimes}. Back to school for us also means that the kids return to attending judo practice and various extracurricular events at school. Therefore, we must prepare for some busy evenings, fast dinners and the day to day juggling of school work, lunches to be made, work and varying schedules. 

2.Another thing that happens naturally for us in Summer is to have more casual dinners like burgers, chicken or steak on the bbq or sometimes just sandwiches. Sometimes those dinners are served much later than we are used to during the School Year as we don’t have to be places in the evening as often. Now is a good time to move back to a regular mealtime. This is a good time to start for the Fall, such as this Korean Beef. Busy days are a great time to use your crock pot or as I like to do cook the night before and then simply reheat the next day and dinner is served. This eliminates the rush of cooking before having to head out and helps to make sure you can still eat nutritious home cooked meals.

3.Set up organization area to keep track of all the paperwork that will inevitably come how. This could go straight to your filing cabinet, or be kept in a file box in a prominent spot and then later moved to the cabinet or thrown out(recycled/shredded) after the immediate need is over.

4.Do something fun before the hectic schedule starts up. Last year we were consumed with buying a house in August and moving in so most of our time was spent doing that. This year since we are more settled we will be taking a camping trip just before school starts .


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