EDITOR’S NOTE: August marks Get Ready for Kindergarten month. But since not every parent has a Kindergartner, we decided to expand on that and ask four of our Balanced Body Educators who happen to be Moms for their healthy tips on getting the kids ready for the first day of school. Good stuff!
We are just weeks away from the kids going back to school. For my family, that means shopping for school supplies, getting back into routines, setting expectations, and establishing goals for myself and my crew. We love summer, but it does always feel good to get back into a routine.
We print off our school supply lists and have fun going shopping together so the kids can get excited about picking new gear with colors/patterns that they love. We also take a day to go through their clothes and get rid of anything that doesn’t fit or that they simply won’t wear. We then make a list of what is actually needed for school clothes/shoes. Taking the time to assess these few things has saved us money and has helped the kids to see what is actually needed so that we don’t go school shopping and buy five more of the same sweatshirt they already have.
Through summer our routines around sleep, food, and chores get much more relaxed. To avoid a disastrous first few weeks of school we begin to slowly start bringing structure back to bedtime, wake-up time, healthy meals/snacks, and what chores everyone is responsible for in the house. In our house, we each stick to a chore for a month before rotating to a new one. We try to vary the chores as well so that different life skills are attained and our household runs smoothly as well.
One of the most helpful things we do is to begin talking about expectations for the school year. I love hearing what the kids are expecting and what they are excited and nervous about. It’s so amazing what happens when we simply ask them questions. We discuss friendships, homework, grades, sports, and our household flow as well. I find that if we talk about these things ahead of time then everyone is on the same page going into our back-to-school season. This makes it so much easier to address a concern or adjust a routine because everyone has agreed to the expectations ahead of time.
Lastly, I like to set some simple goals or at least start talking about goals. They can be small or big, short-term or long-term. Sometimes they are focused on grades, other times it’s sports, and often it is a checklist of fun things they want to do with friends/family throughout the year. It helps me so much to know what my kids want to work towards. It allows me to help set them up for success in these areas.
Before we officially go back to school we will also be soaking up every last second of summer fun with a few more lake days, pool adventures, friend time, and late mornings in pajamas. Enjoy the rest of your summer break with your crew and happy back to school season soon.
We try the best we can to Soak Up Summer before heading back to school. Living in the midwest the winters seem to last forever, so we try to soak up as much outdoor time as we can. When not in the Pilates Studio I can be found at a baseball game, by the pool, riding bikes, or out for a run. All three of my kids, including my husband, a school teacher, are able to be home. I try to take as much time off teaching Pilates as I can to be able to enjoy the time with them. So about a week before school is the earliest we even mention “going back”… When the summer clock starts winding down we keep up our “SUS” routine with the following:
SUPPLIES As a child of the 80’s, I lived for back-to-school shopping! I could not wait to head to the store and fill my backpack with all the new Lisa Frank notebooks, Trapper Keeper, and glitter pens to make it my best year yet. My boys, on the other hand, couldn’t care less. Thank goodness for Target home delivery! Parent Hack: Give your kids all the same initials so supplies can easily be labeled and reused year after year.
Wake UP: About a week before school starts we start setting the alarms again, to try to get back in the groove. Not sure if this works, but we at least try. Parent Hack: Don’t have one, It’s hard enough getting myself up!
SHOES: My very active growing boys burn through the shoes! It is a top priority to keep their feet in good condition (hello, Pilates teacher mom 🙂 So we make sure the tennies are up to date. Who doesn’t like a fresh pair of kicks on the first day?! Parent Hack: If your child is a runner, take them to a running shoe store to get fitted properly. And purchase running shoes that are separate from their everyday shoes.
Have a great school year everyone and remember to keep it SUS.
By the time a new school year begins me and my family is truly READY for the routine of a school schedule; the kids excited about advancing a grade and meeting their new teachers, and the parents are excited to know, after all the fun and flux of summer, that our kids will be in capable, loving hands Monday through Friday while we tend to our businesses (that may have experienced a little neglect over the summer).
In preparation for the big change, we will talk about what our new routine will look like. In democratic fashion, we will invite the kids to paint a picture of the perfect school morning and their ideal after-school routine. We’ll talk about what time we want to wake up, what time we want to get to school, and when we’ll fit in free time, as well as our chores.
Including the kids in these decisions is empowering for them and also acts as an agreement that we all signed off on and can reference when things go a little off the rails. Also, I find it’s a great idea to set our intention for the next season while we’re feeling the spaciousness of summer!
Hi! I’m Cathy Redifer, a BB Educator out of Yakima, WA. I have a 10-year-old son and a 5-year-old daughter. We LOVE summer-it’s a perfect chance to unwind and spend some time in the pool!
To get prepped for back-to-school, we start with SLEEP! Making sure we get back on a somewhat normal sleep schedule is essential to make sure the kids are well-rested for day 1!