It's been a full summer of relaxation and fun for our family. Still, my daughter is crazy excited about going back to school. Next week, she will step onto the school bus and embark on her first day of 1st grade. It helps that she was assigned to the teacher she was hoping to get and she has a good idea of what a full school day entails, as she experienced full day kindergarten last year.
It's my prayer that she will have a love for school throughout her entire education. As her mother, I feel my role is to help nurture her educational needs and passions. This of course begins with quality preparation and also includes some moments of celebration.
Last year I learned a few things about getting my tired child out of bed in the morning, battles over clothing, dealing with the morning rush, and avoiding the after school meltdown. Planning ahead makes a big difference in how smoothly the school year will start and progress.
Here are some important ways to prepare for Back To School:
- Shopping For School Clothes - Encourage your child to be actively involved in the shopping experience and have some choice in the clothing items purchased. It's natural for moms to want our children to dress in the cutest clothing available for their size, but the reality is our children will try to dress to fit in with their friends. They want to be accepted and school should be a pleasant experience for them. Give appropriate boundaries on clothing, but also give them choices.
- Purchasing School Supplies - Try not to wait until the last minute to purchase school supplies. Walmart and Target's school supplies get pretty picked over as the school year gets closer. Your children will no doubt want a nice selection of notebooks or folders to choose from rather than being stuck with the ugly plain, brown folder left behind on the shelf. Likewise with backpacks. Shopping about three weeks in advance of the start of school will provide a wider selection to choose from.
- Doctors and Dentist Appointments - Is your child in need of a well-check or immunizations? This is a great time to schedule up those necessary appointments. When was the last time the Dentist took a look at your child's pearly whites? A trip to the Dentist is a great reminder to your children of the importance of good oral hygiene.
- A Special School Makeover - Does your child need a good haircut or a cute new hairstyle? Schedule an appointment with a hair stylist to make this happen. Additionally, if you have girls, it's fun to plan a mommy/daughter spa day in the comfort of your own home. Show her how to do a manicure and pedicure. Apply a safe-for-sensitive-skin homemade face mask, and lounge around together while it penetrates your skin. For some extra fun, allow her to apply makeup on you and let her wear a little blush or lip gloss around the house.
- Discuss and Implement Early Bedtime - Bedtime routines often become non-existent during the summer months when the sun lights the day until the late evening hours. But school is hard work and the days are long. Children need adequate sleep to listen well, socialize with friends, behave mannerly, and to learn. A week before school starts, get into the habit of the school year bedtime routine.
- Work Out A Morning Routine - Take time to discuss with your children what the family schedule is each morning. Each family member should know what their responsibility is upon waking up. Do you require the bed to be made before school? Who will be making breakfast? What time should everyone be ready to walk out the door?
- Pray With Your Children - Pray for their protection. Pray for them to have a loving heart toward their classmates and school authorities. Pray for their teacher. Pray for the bus driver and the safety of the children riding. Pray for your child to excel in and have a lifelong passion for learning.
You can do this by preparing a special or favorite breakfast the morning of the first day of school or bake a batch of your child's favorite cookies or cupcakes to enjoy when they return from school that afternoon.
Here are a few other fun ideas:
- Fill your child's bedroom with balloons after they go to sleep or early in the morning before they wake up. How cool would it be to wake up in a bedroom full of balloons?!
- Put a special note of love in your child's backpack or lunch box for them to find during the day.
- Give your child a special gift of encouragement, such as a new book or a pretty necklace while their eating breakfast the first day of school.
- Go out for ice cream or smoothies for the after school snack and allow your child to share all the exciting details of their first day.
How do you and your family prepare for and celebrate Back To School?
~Until next time, may God bless your children with a successful school year!