The ABCs of Back to School in NYC

Back to school in NYC: fun for some, terrorizing for others. Getting your kids organized and ready to start a new school year can feel overwhelming, but with a little bit of planning, you can get an A+.

Ah, back to school time in NYC. While some parents are seeking anti-anxiety cures as their little ones head off to school for the first time or for the last time before college, others can barely conceal their smiles as they shove back-to-school supplies into their offsprings’ backpacks. Whichever side of the chalkboard you write on, let this be the year that you prep your home so that your kids can have the best school year ever. In school, you realized that advanced planning and prep work usually yielded great grades, yet you constantly found yourself pulling all-nighters the night before big exams. You may have done well, but the stress was overwhelming. Don’t set up that same road for your kids; show them that some advance prep can help them have their best school year yet.

Stock Up On Supplies

Glue, extra markers, scissors, protractors; get a set for school and a set for home as well. Why? Because there will come the day when your future engineer won’t be able to do her physics homework because she left her protractor at school. Keeping an extra set of everything at home makes for fewer anxiety attacks suffered by serial mini-procrastinators.

Keep Resources Close At Hand

There are a huge number of resources available to students today. Generally speaking, you’d have to really go out of your way to not find the information you’re looking for. Create a list of online resources that your kids can use to supplement their schoolwork. One of the absolute best things about the Internet is the sheer number of free online learning sites available. From Khan Academy to Coursera, there are plenty of online learning tools available for big kids. If your kids are in elementary school, sites like Mindmeister have put together a collection of free online learning courses that can help your Timmy or Tammy get to the head of the class.

Create a HomeWORK Space

People are more apt to do their work if they have a dedicated work space. This applies whether you’re doing freelance work on the side or whether you’re a teen struggling through trigonometry. Help your kids create a homework nook in their bedrooms. If your child’s got a really small bedroom, consider getting a loft bed. These ingenious bed options instantly double the space of tiny rooms. The sleeping area can be on top, and the workspace can be underneath.

Set Up Rules

I like to say, “First do what you have to do, then do what you want to do.” Minecraft will always be there. Teach — and show — your kids that fun time will be so much more delicious and relaxing when they can enjoy it knowing that they’ve gotten their work out of the way.

Pack What They Love For Lunch

One of the most tiresome things about the process of going back to school is figuring out what to pack your kids for lunch. Don’t waste time putting “good on paper” food in the lunchbox that you know your kids will just bring home at the end of the day or dump. Your kid loves roasted chicken? Put some in a wrap with their favorite veggies and toppings. Fill a bowl, a la Chipotle, with your kid’s favorite veggies, meats, rice, and sauce. Give them the foods that they love at home, and they’ll wolf it down at school. Make sure that they’ve got plenty of protein and good carbs so that they can generate the energy they need to keep going.

Image Source: Flickr/Elvert Barnes

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