Countdown to Class

So there we were, just summering along, enjoying those late sunsets and time lounging by the water, when along came August. Definitely still summer, but with a twist—August brings with her the Reality of the Routine. Yes, it’s back to school time, which means preparing for a more structured schedule. Grade school through college—maybe mom’s going back to school as well—we need to be ready.

How will we get there? With a countdown, baby!

3 Weeks Before School Starts:

Grade school/high school: If you haven’t already done so, scour the ads for deals on school supplies. The best deals tend to run in late July. And if you find a great price on something? Stock up on it. Odds are it’ll be needed next year. Just make sure those extras are stored in an accessible place. You don’t want to come across 30 floppy disks and 15 dried glue sticks five years from now in a box in the basement. It happened once to someone I know.

College: Visit the school’s book store (online or in person), class schedule in hand, and do some comparison shopping. Most textbooks can be found at a better price online. is a popular site with students.

Mom’s college: Figure out where and when to study. Whether it’s the library or a coffee shop, the best places to study tend to be ABH (anywhere but home). What about when to study? Don’t leave that to chance. Schedule it. But how much time should you devote to studying? Most colleges recommend two hours of study time for each credit hour, each week. Truly though that depends on how strong you are in the subject, so adjust accordingly.

2 Weeks Before School Starts:

Grade school/high school: Time to purchase new school clothes/shoes (and inventory what’s on hand and still works from last year) and get haircuts. This is a good time, too, to figure out where kids will do homework. A homework caddy is a time saving idea. One organizer with all the needed materials will keep homework time running smoothly. Check Pinterest for loads of clever ideas.

College/Mom’s college: Become familiar with the school’s website. It’ll tell where tutoring is offered, what technology the school uses for students to track grades and attendance, how to make an appointment with an academic advisor, and tons more.

Last Week Before School

Grade school/high school: Sorry kids, (but, hooray for mom) those late nights are over. Start easing kids into the new sleep schedule in halfhour increments. Then by the time school starts, they won’t be complaining (as much), “But I’m not tired yet!” This is a good time to begin building anticipation for school (and combatting end of summer blues). Say things like, “just a few more days and you’ll get to see your friends.” Or, “I think you’re really going to enjoy choir.”

College: On campus, locate each building where your classes will be held. Determine how much time is needed to walk (or drive) to get to classes on time.

Mom’s college: Have you done the school’s orientation? Whether it’s face-to-face orientation or online, make sure you’ve done it by now. It will answer questions you didn’t even know you had.

All together now: Try to take one last weekend getaway to relax before everything gets ramped-up. Camp at a favorite nature spot, take a day trip, catch a drive-in movie—live that last weekend completely in the moment.

Getting prepared and feeling refreshed will help you enter the school year with motivation and confidence.

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