It is that time of year. Target has every school supply on sale. You’re scheduling when to take the kids shopping for new clothes and shoes because they have seemingly grown out of everything overnight. It is all expensive and none of this happens at the beach. Back to school is a bummer.
Every season needs its turn, we cannot have the big, bold, beautiful summers without the spring, fall, and winter to bookend our summer stories. The fall is when the kids all head back to school, and this is going to be a time of incredible growth. Of course, there will be struggles and challenges along the way. There always will be, no matter where we are. Even the sand can be annoying at the beach sometimes too!
My lengthy teaching experience helped me train and support many educators and families. I have seen some practices and ideas work for many families, and those are what I am excited to share today! Check out these ideas for a positive and productive back-to-school season!
- First and most difficult, self-care for mama! The practice of renewing and refreshing yourself will spill over into your family. You cannot pour from an empty cup, so fill your love cup to best benefit your family. It is very natural to be nervous and anxious about the impending school year, however a calm and confident parent will help their children successfully transition into the new grade. Have the belief and faith in yourself, your child, and your new teacher to courageously prepare for the school year!
- Make success a routine. Planning ahead with good evening and morning routines can take so much stress out of the getting ready to get ready. I recently read about one mom’s first 90 minutes of her morning, and how that has helped her to be able to calmly help her two kids and husband happily get out of the door. (https://www.instagram.com/theheightoftoomuchery/ if you want to check out her entire post)
- Tips for a smooth morning- get up before the kids, go to bed early, start the morning routine the night before (lay out clothes, pack lunches,…), share the responsibility with the kids (how can they get their own breakfast started, get dressed, handle morning hygiene…). Check out this article for great advice from a mama in the thick of it, https://www.treehugger.com/family/how-can-parents-have-successful-morning-routine.html
- Discuss the upcoming school year, ask your child about their concerns and what they’re excited about this year. Sometimes we get on the Back to School train tracks and forget to include the kids in the process. Whether the chat is about social situations or academics or specific people, keeping the lines of communication open and supportive will be helpful. Your child will know that they have an advocate and you will have the inside track into their day-to-day!
- Find out if there are any Meet the Teacher nights or Welcome Back barbecues or any events to get to the school, meet some peers (for your kids and also for you!), and also get to know the teachers and staff.
- I will address this in more detail in a later article, but just very quickly, if you have a child with special needs or anxiety or has recently been through changes or stressful events, it is very beneficial to meet the teacher and visit your child’s classroom before the first day of school.
Know that you’re doing your best, your child is doing their best, their teachers are doing their best, everyone is doing the best they can. You are doing a good job, Mama! You got this!
Ellie aka Mrs. Schreiner:)