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back-to-school-hanover-pa
Surviving the Back-to-School Madness in 2017

Back to school is an exciting time of year for Hanover area kids and teachers. It is also an exciting, emotional, and difficult time for parents. Summer months are often less structured for families than school months: bedtimes are pushed back later, vacation days are spent blocking out set schedules. Trying to break out of these bad habits is often tough for every family. We’ve compiled a list of six ways to survive the back-to-school madness in 2017.

Combine Calendars
Every school year brings a new school calendar. To avoid missing any important dates, make sure you add special days to your family calendar instead of trying to remember to look at both. Add picture days, games, vacation days, delayed starts, and parent visitation times immediately. This assures you won’t miss the important things by double booking your time.
 
It also gives you more time to make arrangements for school closing days instead of frantically trying to find care at the last minute.

Schedule Family Activities
It’s no secret that back to school means your calendar will fill up quickly. Schedule special family days and activities so you can continue to strengthen relationships with your children. These activities also give you all something to look forward to as you go about your weekly activities.

Prep Your Meals
Meal prep is a growing trend. It makes sense because when planned correctly, it can save you a lot of time and struggle. Create a meal plan at the beginning of every month or week. Shop for your groceries and make sure you secure all of the ingredients you need for the week. This helps you avoid extra trips to the store and drive-thru temptation.
 
Once you have your ingredients, set aside time weekly to prepare what you can in advance. Wash, cut, and chop your produce for the week. In addition, you can pre-make freezer meals that easily pop into the Crockpot or oven for quick meals. Or you can pre-make eggs for fast breakfast sandwiches and salads for your lunch.

Check Alarm Clock Batteries
The last thing you need is to miss the bus in the morning. Make sure all of your alarm clocks are equipped with a backup battery.

Pack Nightly
Before going to bed every night, gather the items you and your kids need for the next day. Pack book bags, briefcases, lunches, and any special assignments or projects. Keep these items in one location to avoid rushing around every morning.

Set Aside Time for Homework
Most nights kids will have homework assignments they need to complete. Set aside time starting the first week of school to conquer these tasks. Starting with a set time on day one makes it easier to form a habit for the rest of the year.

While back to school may add some stress to your family life, it should be a time of excitement for both you and your children. Use these six tips to make the transition easier and avoid the madness in 2017.