New School Year Survival Guide for Chicagoland Parents

Jean Jones
August 22, 2016

New_School_Year_Chicago.jpgThe new school year is in full swing, but you may feel like you’re still reeling from the schedule change. If you’re having trouble adjusting to the challenges of getting your family back to school, try these smart strategies for streamlining the transition and setting your entire year up for a smooth routine.

Perfect the Art of Meal Planning

Planning meals ahead of time will help you shave extra minutes off of several daily routines. Sit down over the weekend and plan ahead for the rest of the week. Make sure your meal plan includes easy breakfasts, well-balanced lunches, after-school snacks, and family dinners. Don’t neglect the adults in your family. Mom and Dad need healthy breakfasts and lunch essentials on hand as well.

Spend some time on Sundays planning for the week ahead. Freeze hearty breakfasts like burritos and sandwiches for the future, so you can enjoy a filling meal without early morning prep. Pre-packed lunches and after school snacks can simplify the daily grind as well.

Create a Quiet Study Space

A peaceful study space is important for students of all ages, whether you’re going back to college as an adult or helping your children build study habits for life. You don’t need a lot of space to create an efficient work area. The most important aspect of creating a smart study space is putting the right supplies together. Make sure your work spot has all the pens, pencils, papers, and resource materials you need to work efficiently so you’re always prepared for a powerful session.

Keep Essentials Organized

The school year comes with a wealth of new items you need to keep track of. Make a point of getting things organized now so you’ll have a handy spot for the new items that pop up as the year progresses. Set aside a folder or file for papers if you have young children who bring home worksheets and flyers frequently, and organize your digital folders to keep computer files organized. Knowing where important papers and documents are stored can save you hours of searching later.

Schedule Ample Down Time

Don’t let your new back to school schedule take over your life. Make sure you’re including plenty of time for leisure as well. Fortunately, Chicagoland offers plenty of opportunities to unwind on the weekends. Check out the Chicago Jazz Festival in Millennium Park from September 1 to 4, mark your calendar for the Chicago German-American Fest September 9 to 11, or treat your ears to the 18th Annual World Music Festival between September 9 and 25.

What are your top tips for acing the back to school transition? Share your best strategies in the comments below.

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