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Today Mindy Hofman Hersh returns again as our guest blogger. Mindy is the mother of a 7-year-old girl and two fur babies in Austin and looks forward to sharing back-to-school tips with our readers. National Back To School Prep Day is celebrated annually on August 15th. It’s a time for parents, teachers, schools, and students to prepare for the new school year. With COVID protocols still in place at many schools and the vaccine limited to those 12-years of age and older, as a parent, this year it’s more important than ever to plan ahead. Whether your children are going back-to-school in-person or virtually, you want to be prepared. Below are some ideas to make the transition pleasant for all.

  1. Morning Routine: Practice the morning routine by starting to wake up early again. It may not be pleasant at first, especially for those with teenagers, but it will be worth the extra effort syncing the family circadian rhythms.
  2. COVID Precautions: It’s important to review the school system’s current policies and procedures a week in advance so you have time to prepare your children.
    • Buy new fresh masks – Have your kiddo test them out before you send them to a full day of learning. Pack extras in their backpack.  
    • Stock up on hand-sanitizers – Scout out the fun sanitizers out there these days. From Mickey Mouse to Baby Yoda there are plenty of options.
    • Sneezing and Coughing – Remind your kids to cough or sneeze into their elbows, not their hands, and practice with them.  
  1. COVID Conversations: Take some time to talk to your children about how this year will look different. They may be feeling anxious about going back. Let them know that they are always able to chat with you about their concerns.
  2. Get excited: Excitement is contagious! Do your best to make going back to school fun. Encourage learning. Below are some ideas:
    • Spruce up their study space – It could be anything from a new poster or art print to a new study lamp. Your kiddos will appreciate the change.
    • Bring them supply shopping – I still get excited when I open a new pack of pens or a fresh notebook. Your kids will feel the same.  
    • Plan lunches and snacks – Let your kids help you plan. Search Pinterest together for new fun ideas.

While teachers develop their lesson plans and get their classrooms ready for the new, smiling faces – stock up on hand sanitizers/wipes and masks for backpacks and talk to kids about when to use them. Remind them about the importance of handwashing, after using the restroom, before and after eating, when touching things that a lot of people have touched, or before and after recess.

We hope these tips help you and your children have a great back-to-school experience. Hang in there parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and all caregivers, you’ve got this!

Mindy Hersh is the founder of Inspiring Women Media and author of a forthcoming book about successful women in Austin (expected to publish in 2022). She is a self-proclaimed women’s rights champion and strongly believes in the transformative power of women supporting women. Mindy graduated from The Art Institute of New York City with a degree in Graphic Design and worked as a graphic designer in New York City and San Francisco. Today she resides in Austin, TX where she has lived for the past 5 years with her daughter and two small dogs.

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