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New School Hacks

Author: Adrianna and Ryan Walden
Published Date: Tuesday, August 28, 2018

One afternoon, Ryan, Sophia, and I were looking for something to watch on TV. Ryan stumbled upon “Life Hacks for Kids,” a series that was set to upbeat music and featured fun tricks to make life easier. Sophia loved it! She learned that she could use a hair dryer to remove stickers from a hard surface. Sophia and I both thought the idea was cool, so we decided to put this “life hack” to the test. Low and behold, it worked!

Sophia has attended the same Montessori education program since she was 3 years old, and since she is starting a new school this year, I thought she could use some school-related hacks to ease her transition. Here are four new school hacks that we’ve used to prepare her.

1. Make a Map

Earlier in the year, we had a chance to tour the school and get familiar with it. As we neared the first day, I printed a map of the school and labeled Sophia’s classes according to her schedule. We talked about classes, times, and which hallways she would pass. We found the bathrooms and, of course, the most important place in the whole school: the lunch area!

2. Name to Face

Sophia’s new school has a website that lists the teachers and their photos. Together, we looked up all her teachers so she could put a face to the name and wouldn’t feel like they are strangers.

3. Lunch Box Note

This is something my mom used to do for me. Now, I put a handwritten note or special sticker somewhere in Sophia’s lunch box for her to find. My hope is that it puts a smile on her face every day.

4. Conversation Piece

Meeting new friends can feel like a daunting task for some kids. My daughter can be shy when meeting new people, so we made a conversation piece for her to take to school: a pencil case made from a box of her favorite snacks. It looks super cute and when other kids ask where she got it, she can tell them how she made it herself.

I asked Sophia if she had any hacks of her own as she prepares for her new adventure. She said, “Yes – just be myself.” I’m definitely adding this as a bonus hack!

What things have you done to make the first day of school easier for your kids?



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About Adrianna and Ryan Walden

Ryan and Adrianna Walden have been married for 12 years. The two met when she was working for an arena football team in Norfolk where he was playing football. Ryan is a service coordinator with the Chesapeake Early Intervention Program and Adrianna is a Licensing Specialist for Children's Programs. Both have enjoyed teaching CHKD’s "Happiest Baby" class together for the past eight years. Together they have one daughter, who despite early health issues, is now a thriving and happy school-age child. The Walden's also lead a weekly community group through their church for married couples and their children.