As September arrives, everyone is getting ready to go back to school. Backpacks are packed, school supplies are organized, and lunchboxes are ready. But is that all that you need to pay attention to for the school year to go smoothly? Here are some things to keep in mind so you can make this school year the best year ever!
This is something that can sneak up on you. Opportunities abound, and no one wants to miss out on anything. You say yes and yes and yes and yes until suddenly you and your child realize you have kids' uniforms for six different sports, and there isn't enough time left in the day to do homework anymore.
Taking control of your schedule is important. Talk with your children and see what it is they truly would like to spend their time doing. If they also want to do everything, consider how to prioritize the different activities. Maybe certain activities are only available for a short time. Maybe others can be tried next year. Perhaps a particular sport is a passion for one of your children, and you know you need to prioritize it even though it may mean missing other opportunities. Schedules keep us organized and help us plan fun things, but they should also have space for other important things like eating and rest. Make sure your schedule works for you and your family and not the other way around!
Many times, we are attracted by fancy signs or a pleading face, and we end up saying yes to something that ends up being a little different than what we thought it was. We can overestimate our interest in certain classes or clubs or sports. While no activity will be smooth sailing with no struggles all the way through, some are truly less engaging than others. This is a wonderful opportunity to help your children find out what they are really excited about learning or doing.
An easy way to circumvent both being stuck in a tedious commitment and the feeling of giving up too soon is to agree with your child to pledge a certain amount of time to an activity. It should be enough to give something new a fair trial, but not so long that your child is dreading the obligation if it turns out to be a tiresome one. This way, your child can try new things and practice commitment without being overly frustrated or permanently filling up your schedule. It's a win-win!
The start of a school year can be like the start of the new year. Your child is entering a new grade or maybe even a new school. It's a new start, and you and your child may want to make new resolutions to make this year better than the last. Setting goals is a wonderful undertaking. Academic dreams are within reach, that starting position on the sports team is in the bag. New clothes like a cute girls' skirt or a cool boys' graphic tee give your children confidence.
One common oversight children make is they set big goals but aren't sure how to make them happen. Avoid a disappointing overreach by teaching your children how to break their big goals into smaller, achievable pieces. Doing homework consistently every day, staying an extra ten minutes after every practice, and making sure each person is greeted with a smile might be the small actions that will help your children get where they want to go by the end of the year. Make your children's goal-setting experience a good one by helping them take enough small, consistent steps in the right direction until they look back and realize they have made their dreams come true!
Sleep is one of the things that will help your children the most. Sleep supports proper physical growth and can even help your children remember more things than if they get too little sleep?—very useful for tests. However, timing is important. Everyone knows the terrible feeling when you oversleep and have to rush out the door after doing a slap-dash morning routine. It's not a great way to start the day.
Keep your family morning-ready by encouraging set bedtimes. If kids are in bed by a certain time, they will get enough sleep. This ties in with scheduling since ensuring that kids are done with all their activities and have had enough time to complete homework can be significantly dependent on planning. If your kids find it impossible to sleep before midnight yet have to be up before 6 a.m. to make it to school, consider planning in naps so they can use that time to get the sleep they need instead of knocking out in the middle of class.
Along with your back-to-school prep and school uniforms, keep these things in mind so you can set your child up for success and make this school year a good one.