Monday, August 11, 2008

Tips for Back-To-School

I realize not everyone home educates. This is a back-to-school list I made a couple of years ago. I hope it helps for you public/private schoolers also in this back-to-school season of preparation. If you'd like a Word doc. copy (that has much funner fonts ;) that you can easily print, leave a comment or email me and I'd be happy to send it. I hope you enjoy the last few weeks of summer!

Tips to beat
Back-To-School STRESS

Let all things be done decently and in order. 1 Cor 14:40

For smoother mornings:
• Have backpacks packed and sitting by the front door the night before.
• Prep breakfast stuff the night before i.e. set the table, have cereal boxes, griddle or frying pan, etc… set out ready to go.
• Have everyone lay out clothes the night before. This also helps with appropriate clothes choices and avoids last minute arguments.
• Decide the night before what everyone will have for lunches and prep as much as possible.
• Establish a set bedtime and enforce it. Make sure everyone (Mom & Dad too!) is getting enough rest.
• Avoid turning on the TV at least until everyone is ready for school that way you’re not competing with the TV for their attention. (Our family never did TV in the morning)
• Help your child write a list of things they need to do in the morning and post it in a convenient spot like in their room or bathroom. Encourage them to take responsibility for getting ready without verbal reminders. You won’t feel like you’re constantly reminding and they won’t feel nagged at.
• Prayer before bed and in the morning is the best way to prepare for the day.

In everything we do we try to show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. 2 Cor 6:4

To avoid after school GRUMPINESS:
• Have a small, HEALTHY snack & water for the kids for the ride home (if you pick-up) or at the table if they ride the bus. Just enough to curb late afternoon hunger but not so much to spoil dinner.
• Limit after school extracurricular activities to 1 or 2 things per week. Too busy kids are usually too cranky kids.
• Make time for each child to tell you about his/her day.*
(*Generally speaking, most kids will want to share about their day AFTER they’ve had a snack and a little down time. Don’t push if they aren’t talkative right away. Be available- mentally, emotionally & spiritually as well as physically.)
• Have a plan for dinner meals so you’re not caught off guard and frantic. Planning a weekly or monthly menu is a real brain saver.
• Establish a routine for bath/shower times. Knowing when they are expected to do something helps lessen negotiations and battles. This also adds another layer of predictability.
• Make sure each child understands their homework and has an uncluttered, quiet area to work. Keeping homework in the same place will keep it from getting lost. Once homework is completed, children should be in the habit of placing it right into the backpack to avoid the “I forgot” syndrome. We attached a linear coat rack in the kitchen for the backpacks. Hooks or something similar in a convenient location works well too.
• Approach doing homework as a matter of character i.e. being responsible, diligent & having determination rather than with threats, bribes or for the sake of achievement.
• SMILE at your kids- they’ll feel better and you’ll feel better too!

Beloved, let us love one another. 1 John 4:7

1 comment:

Andrea Bell said...

Okay...I am laughing at my silly silly self!!! :) HEHEHEHHE

When I opened your webpage all I could see was the part that said...I know not all of you home school but this is a.....and then the picture of the school bus. I thought you were being funny letting the homeschoolers know what a school bus looked like.

Seriously...I have issues!!!:) ehehehhe

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