Tips for Back to School

officeAs summer comes to a close, parents find themselves wondering how to make the transition easier for the entire family. The Back-to-school transition certainly can be a struggle for both parents and kids, especially if you just moved into a brand new home. Here are some tips not only to help get your little ones back on track with supplies, but also how to use the rooms within your new home to help make back-to-school seem like a breeze.

Get a routine going quickly. Summer is the perfect time to slack off and relax, but this downtime can make the transition back to school a rough one. Start each morning with a defined routine; this will jump start your kids’ day in the right direction. The daily routine ensures a bright morning and a sleepy evening. Although it may be hard at first, they will be used to the routine after a few weeks and all will be in order.

Get organized.  Create a family calendar with school and extracurricular activities and put it in a common area. Setting up a homework station with basic supplies is also an important step in getting organized. From private studies to bonus rooms and great rooms with desks, many designs that Essex offers has a place for the kids to drop their bags and start hitting the books. And, with our open floor plans, parents are never too far away to offer help on assignments.

Don’t minimize the importance of quality gear. A nice backpack goes a long way and a “cool” lunchbox not only makes your kid smile, but it will also give them lunchroom credibility with fellow classmates. Let your children pick out a great backpack, and spend a little extra on it. A bad backpack can cause back and shoulder pain. Make sure to load the backpack up and have your child carry it around prior to making the purchase. This way you’ll know whether it will be an issue or not. Similarly, a lunchbox is something they will have for a while. Letting them choose gives them some autonomy and, eventually, you can give them the freedom and responsibility of making and packing their own lunch. Simultaneously, children learn the value and responsibility of packing their own lunch, and it saves money!

Beat lunchbox boredom. Lunchtime can be dreary when it becomes the same old peanut butter and jelly each day. Skip the traditional sandwich or its requirements such as bread or a square shape. Bounce the bread and put the traditional sandwich fillings in a tortilla, pita or flatbread. Mix it up with cookie cutters for fun shapes. Roll the sandwich with a rolling pin using bread slices to make roll-ups. Toss the sandwich idea altogether and replace it with soup, chili or pasta salad. For sides, pack some carrots, cucumber slices or other crisp veggies with some dressing. Another great side item is wheat crackers with cream cheese spread, hummus, fruit spread or peanut butter. At the bottom of the bag, place a small note and a wrapped chocolate or treat to let your kiddies know how much you love and care for them! The spacious kitchens featured in our new homes make preparing all meals at home for the family fun and creative.

If you’re searching for a new home perfect for your back-to-school family in Columbia, South Carolina or Charlotte, North Carolina, take a look at Essex homes available in your area at