School’s about to start back. And it’s always good to go down the checklist of things to do to get ready for that first week. The more prep you’ve done, the better the year is sure to go, so I always jump on it early …
• Get haircuts: It’s good to do this a couple weeks out, so it doesn’t look like you just got it cut – give it some time to grow in a little and look more natural. I usually make an appointment for a cut and color, adding a few highlights – you know, to give it that end-of-summer sun-kissed look. Then just do root touch-ups until the holidays.
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• Get all your school supplies: This you want to do early, so you get exactly what you want. I have to have pens with a gel grip and those tend to go pretty fast. I like to buy my notepads and Post-it notes in bulk. And I only want the yellow highlighters, I can’t see through the blues, greens and oranges.
• Slowly move bedtimes and wake-up times back to what they’ll be during the school year: I just start going to bed earlier. But sleep till whenever. That way I’m rested for that first day of school.
• Plan your wardrobe: Get together some outfits ahead of time, so when you’re getting ready for school you don’t have to think about it. I try to work in bright colors for the days I’m volunteering in the classroom. For PTA meetings, I shoot for darker fall tones, with a comfortable walking shoe, since the meetings are in the second-floor gym and we’ve got all those stairs.
• Organize your workspace: A de-cluttered desk and streamlined work area is a must. I create and label file folders ahead of time to separate school, PTA and sporting events. A three-ring binder with dividers, sectioning off each child, works well – a great place to put all that stuff they send home in your child’s bag that you’re just gonna have to read later.
• Invest in a sturdy backpack: As much as I love my diaper bag and all the cool compartments, I definitely need something that can accommodate my binder and my planner, with meshing that holds something bigger than a 3-ounce bottle. Although I’m keeping the changing pad – it makes a nice place mat when I have lunch in the cafeteria with my kid.
• Plan and reset your daily schedule – because it’s no longer your schedule, it’s theirs. Get an academic calendar and start writing it all in – open house, fall festival, holiday parties, soccer practice, football games, teacher conferences, book fair, arts showcase, musical performance, class pictures, and finally, “students’ last day,” which quite frankly feels like it will take place in another lifetime.
And then try to find one single day when you don’t have anything …
And start getting the kids ready.