And just like that, the slow and easy pace of summer is coming to a close. Do you feel ready? How about your kids?
When the lazy summer mornings become harried hunts for shoes, it is time for us Mommas to think through some simple structures we can put in place to be sure our transition to school goes smoothly. Here are a couple ideas:
- Think about returning to school year bedtime, and wake time, a week or two before that first day. In our family, we often will even run the whole morning routine so that the kids are ready to get back into the swing of things. If you have an especially slow-moving little one, you can even time them to see how long getting ready actually takes. When school begins, adjust their wake-up-time to allow for that span. If we can reduce the stress of hurrying them through the morning, that is a very good thing!
- Screens do not lead to successful starts. Kids move more slowly when they are watching any type of screen and the passive engagement does not wake them in a way that is helpful for school. We have been practicing this with our kiddos, even our teens. I highly recommend it. Let’s teach our kids to do the important things first. Entertainment can wait!
- Create space for homework and supplies. Ever since my kids were very little, we have had a small table called (creatively) “the homework table”. 🙂 Every year, I check it for needed supplies and make sure that pencils, pens, paper, crayons, colored pencils and a ruler are available and in good shape. All of our four have used this space and it has helped to know that everything they could need can be found here. We have maintained the homework table in a screen-free room which helps with concentration, as well. It has been important to us to send a clear message that we not only value the education our kids are receiving but we will also support that learning at home in very intentional ways.
- Which leads me to the next, critically important, tip: Always speak positively about teachers, lessons, school, and administration. ALWAYS. Your kids are looking to you, listening to you, and building their beliefs and attitudes based on what they are hearing from you. If you talk about school in negative tones or believe that all kids will hate school, that will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you question the authority of or assignments given by your child’s teacher IN FRONT OF YOUR CHILD, you are teaching them to look critically at those that are working on their behalf. This year, let’s teach our kids to trust their teachers and their expertise. Let’s send notes of encouragement to those teachers and not just critiques. Let’s teach our kids that school is amazing, learning is fun and homework, sometimes, is necessary. Create a family that values education. You will never regret this choice!
As this year begins, making these simple adjustments can lead to greater experiences for you and your kids. We want to raise children who are eager for what is to come, who are curious about the whole of creation, who see school as their big work. All of this is possible. Let’s begin well today!