First day of school still 12 days away and we’re already tired

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Does this look like a high-schooler to you? We're ready to start high school tomorrow.

This week we’ve got back-to-back school orientations, one for middle school and one for high school, dentists and doctor appointments, one parent orientation. Next week it’s another parent orientation, doctors appointments, schedule pick up day, and oh, I didn’t follow any of my own advice in my back-to-school stories here and here. I still need to get people school supplies and new clothes.

Does this look like a high-schooler ready for orientation?

Does this look like a high-schooler ready for orientation?

I’m not the only one who is tired. It was a big struggle dropping off Ben at high school orientation this morning. He’s had a week post-camp to just sleep whenever he wants. I’m pretty sure he was sleeping with his eyes open when he walked into school this morning.

So, remember my 10 things to do before school starts? Here’s where my family stands.

1. Get back on a sleep schedule. Gradually start going to bed earlier and waking up earlier. It will make that first week so much easier. School-age children need at least 10 hours a day. Not even close.

2. Get your yearly physical, especially if you want to play sports. Make sure you are up-to-date on shots. Get the list of required vaccinations by age from your school district or the Texas Department of Health Services, and be aware that additional shots are needed in middle school and high school. Done, surprisingly in June. Now where is that sheet so Ben can play golf this year?

3. Figure out where the bus stop is or how you are getting to school and back. By mid-August, most districts have bus stop information online. Still waiting on AISD to post the bus stop finder, though we have a good idea for Ben. There’s no bus for Ava.

4. Get your school supplies and backpack ready. If your school has a list, use it. If not, pick up some general supplies you know you are going to need to lessen the amount you’ll have to do the first week of school. We have backpacks and locks for lockers. Not much else.

5. Find out when Meet the Teacher is scheduled. Meet the Teacher is a great time to ease into the school year with important information, such as who your teacher is, which friends are in your classroom and what other supplies you might need. Some schools even let you drop off supplies on this day. For kids in middle school or high school, find out when you can get your schedule, your books and maybe a locker if you’re allowed to have one. Done.

6. Get reading and put down the screens. If you have assigned summer reading, are you done yet? If not, start cranking in these next two weeks. No assignment? Pick up a book anyway and get in the habit of learning again. So haven’t done that, though Ava did plow through her summer reading.

7. Start investigating after-school activities. What kinds of clubs, sports or music lessons do you want to do this year? Do they work with your family schedule and finances? If you did activities last year, do you want to sign up again or do you want to try something new. We’ve tried, but there’s not a lot of information out there yet with school-related activities. Girl Scouts is gearing up again. Hooray!

8. Get your homework space ready.Where are you going to do your work? Do you have a desk, a space at the kitchen table or a comfortable chair with a lap desk? Do you have all the supplies you need at home, including paper and pencils? Does this space have good light and few distractions? Hmm, we cleaned their rooms and then they come home from camp.

9. Look ahead at the calendar. When are the big events happening at school this year that you don’t want to miss? Put them on your family calendar. When are the random days off and extended breaks? What will you do on those days? Do Mom and Dad need to get you a babysitter, find you a camp or take the day off? Thankfully, we now have a middle-schooler and high-schooler so those random days off don’t cause as much chaos. But I hear there’s something called early release days in high school. What’s that about?

10. Enjoy these last weeks of vacation. If you’ve wanted to try out a new pool or go to a new park, this is your chance. You can find my list of cool things to do before summer ends at austin360.com/raisingaustin. Can’t get these people to leave their air-conditioned rooms, currently.

How is your family doing?


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