Does the end of summer always sneak up on you and your family? Do your kids struggle and fight to get up early in the first two weeks of school?
You're not alone. Here's some advice from Catonsville moms on how to get back in the routine.
"It’s 90 degrees outside. I’m in shorts, a t-shirt and flip flops. But the siren sound of fall calls. I can’t escape the signs. Everywhere I look they scream, 'Back to school savings! Load up on school supplies! Fall sale! Get your supplies before they’re gone!'
I ignore them for as long as I can. But the other day as I entered dates into my calendar, I saw just how rapidly the school year approaches. We're down to mere weeks now.
While procuring school supplies is indeed important, there is mental prep as well. One thing we do to psych up for the year is to celebrate with a special back-to-school dinner. We’ve been doing this for a couple years now after I saw a post on the Nie Nie Dialogues. I found the idea so charming that I wanted to make it one of our family traditions as well.
Two nights before the first day of school, we break out the fancy plates, have a special meal complete with a toast to the new year ahead with sparkling cider. After dinner, we discuss what things we most look forward to learning that year. I think it helps reframe the potential dread and anxiety that often comes with a new school year into something exciting and happy. I must admit, it has become one of my favorite celebrations of the year."
"As with most seasonal changes, there’s ambivalence in the Worthington family about the start of school. The kiddos don’t want to go back, but they also eagerly await the mail starting Aug. 1, to see when their schedules will arrive. They do love the back-to-school shopping trip, too – just like I used to back when I was a kid, before I was the parent, trying to keep track of the kids in Target and Staples, as well as supplies and the costs! Yippee!
Anywho, my back-to-school tip does not involve shopping (you’re welcome), but mornings. If your children have gotten used to sleeping in, and they are now facing the prospect of having to wakeup at 6 a.m., like my high-schooler is, I’d recommend a gradual approach.
Maybe two weeks before school starts, wake them up a little earlier each day – by about 15 minutes. I don’t think this needs to be super-regimented, and it can even just involve making noise in the house earlier each day. This will hopefully also have the effect of them being able to gradually fall asleep earlier at night, too. They might naturally have a hard time falling asleep the night before school, and this problem is even worse if they’ve only woken up 10 hours earlier! So, let ‘em sleep this week, but consider re-programming the alarm starting on Monday…
Happy last weeks of summer vacation!
"Last summer, I didn’t know what to think or how to prepare for kindergarten. I felt completely lost, attempting to navigate blindly through the preparations. I wish I could say that this year were any different. In a way, I feel just as clueless. My oldest is now in first grade, but the other two are still not in school. Our biggest obstacle this year in the middle child, who feels he too should be able to go to school just like his big brother.
Of course, Owen isn’t exactly a help in this area. He keeps telling Blake about how much fun kindergarten was and how he’s going to love his teacher and all the friends he’ll make. The closer we get to the first day of school, the harder it becomes. It also doesn’t help that they’re all going completely stir-crazy at home. We’re all ready for summer to be over.
At first I thought I’d simply focus on each child individually, but then a light bulb went on in my head. Why not treat the others like they’re all going to school? Granted they might be different schools with different time frames, but the process can be the same. So we’re doing the shopping together. Everyone gets their own special supplies to start the year off right. We’re reinstating school year bedtimes, though they didn’t really change that much over the summer, and have gone back to regular morning routines. I know we have yet a couple weeks but with three kids, it will take that long to back in the swing of things."