Getting Ready for Back to School 2023
Make the Most of August, You’ll Thank Yourself Later
As summer winds down, a little prep can make back-to-school time less stressful for kids and their families. And, it can make the remainder of sweet summer days more relaxing. Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation (PAHWF) shares how to pace yourself now so you are energized and ready for fall.
Determine which activities are most important to you and act on them. Now. Get the family’s input and create an end-of-summer bucket list. Perhaps everyone can add one or two must-dos. Schedule them, including rain dates when applicable.
The days pass quickly. Scheduled plans minimize regrets and disappointments. This is especially important for seasonal favorites that cannot be done other times of year and age-appropriate activities that may be outgrown by next summer.
Take Care of Business
Along with kids being out of school, summer work schedules are often more casual. This makes it the ideal time to schedule doctor well visits. August is National Eye Exam Month, which reminds us to get routine eye care.
Don’t wait until your child struggles to see the front of the classroom or gets behind in reading skills. Have their vision and eye health checked before they head into school. Same for your own! (We see you squinting at the small print.) Community Health & Dental Care offers exam discounts and provides free transportation to those in need, regardless of insurance status.
August is also National Immunization Awareness Month. During well visits, learn if you and your child(ren) need any vaccinations or booster shots. Keep immunization records for each family member. Healthcare providers can share printouts of vaccinations and their received dates. Schools and some employers require such proof to ensure you, your children, and the community remain safe and healthy.
Begin to Establish the Routine
Staying up late and spending excess time in PJs is standard summer behavior for kids. Summer camp may begin later than the morning school bus ever arrived. And playing outside until dark goes well past school bedtimes. Vacations mean ongoing snacks, meals at odd times, and random (daily?) ice cream.
As school approaches, get back into a routine. Have meals together around the kitchen table, focus on healthful foods like local produce, and adjust sleep schedules. Starting early prepares the body’s circadian rhythm. When school is back in session, everyone can feel physically rested and ready to rise.
As August ends, summer blues wash in like an abandoned surfboard returning from sea. Spend the remaining days enjoying some seasonal favorites. (Reference that bucket list.) Don’t forget to include time to relax and refresh, now and during the school year. Autumn brings a faster pace that continues to ramp up through year’s end.
Plan some fun well into the fall. Nothing combats end-of-summer blues better than a couple exciting outings to anticipate. Extend summer by making the most of weekends and early evenings.
Visit Pottstown Farm & Artisan Regional Market where events continue well into the fall. Have a picnic at a local park or hike a favorite trail. Visit PAHWF’s Outdoor Activity Finder to discover your next daytrip. Bring along the kids’ required summer reading and check that box. You may nurture an avid reader among nature!
Whether you use an electronic calendar app or an old-fashioned wall calendar, a shared agenda allows everyone insight on what to expect and when. Kids love structure. Save those random ice cream treats as surprises. When it comes to the schedule, everyone is happiest when they know the plan.
It’s also a great time to clean out closets and drawers. Donating outgrown items helps the community and reduces the stress of missing, lost, and buried objects. Eliminating clutter is considered self-care by some experts. So, while you’re savoring a beautiful summer’s day remember also to reduce physical and mental clutter. Your October self will thank you.