This is it! The final countdown is underway. My kids go back to school one week from today! Have you done all your school shopping and preparation for the new school year? We have backpacks, lunch bags, boxes and containers, new clothes and shoes and even new hair ties and jewelry!
But guess what? We’re not done! We have started the final week routine. What is that, you ask? Many families find it a healthy habit to start routines, those which will become the every-night-this-is-what-we-do stuff, a week or so before the school year begins. This can be getting back into those school-year routines which have gone by the wayside over the summer weeks.
Even though I am always a mom of bedtimes and bedtime routines, even I have to admit that summer is just about the only time some of that is just out the window. I love summer and want my kids to experience the freedom that comes with staying up late, outdoor fires, friends and family.
We began implementing our plan last night. It started with bedtime at 8pm, and some basic routines before that hour. We like baths, snuggling with Daddy, story time, songs and prayer. We continued today with getting up early, eating and dressing by 8am with teeth and hair brushed! I did let them sit and watch television for a while after that, since we had no bus to meet, but then we went bike riding around the neighborhood.
It is also important to keep meals at a uniform time, eating lunch early like when the kids are at school. That requires a light afternoon snack around 3pm. Since we eat dinner close to 4:30pm around our house, I might make it a super-light snack, or an appetizer for the meal so I don’t ruin the kids’ appetites.
While we are talking food, can I please say that kids need breakfast, so no matter what they tell you, they need something nutritious before leaving for school. Find the thing that appeals to them in the morning and add options from there. I have one child who could eat 3 different pieces of fruit for breakfast or eggs and another who would eat pancakes, waffles, or toast every day! Offer many different options and you will find something they like. Do not offer quick junk-food items like pre-packaged, sugary breakfast choices.
Even the local news is reminding parents of great tips like these and others. Visit www.turnto10.com and see Kelly Bates’ advice for surviving the back-to-school season. They have lots of healthy tips for families whose kids are returning to school next week. When I find more great tips, I will share them with you, my faithful reader, lol.
By the way, with one week left, now is the time to set up the back pack with pens or pencils, crayons and the works. This is the final push to finish those summer reading and math packets. It is a bit late to start, but any amount of review, especially with basic facts, is better than none. So don’t let the next week just fly past without putting in a bit of effort to prepare your child for a successful school year.
Be a supportive guide to your child and help them take responsibility for their learning! As always, be sure to contact me with your comments or questions. If I don’t know the answer, I will do my best to get it! Hosting an au pair may be the answer to your problem of not enough time in the day or not enough hands to do it all! Good luck and enjoy the last full week of summer vacation!