The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?
Just following up on our last blog with another hands-on, practical approach for families as you prepare for coming back to school. There are so many other things we can do, than just worry about purchasing back-to-school supplies. We thought it would be a good idea to provide some great ideas we have seen, heard and read about that can help prepare yourselves and your children for the first day of school - which, by the way, is Tuesday, September 3rd - only 25 days away. (Sorry if that caused you to have a moment of panic!)
Summer is a great time to relax, enjoy family time and get out of the routines of the everyday hustle and bustle. However, waiting until the Labour Day Weekend to try and get yourselves ready and back into the school routine is pretty hard on the system. Here is a list of things to consider or try as you prepare:
- Get back into your sleep routine - We have all been there. Trying to get up earlier. Going to bed earlier. Your child’s sleep routines have been thrown off over the summer - maybe going to bed later than during the school year and sleeping in when they want to. Just switching gears will be difficult. Start working on those earlier bedtimes and earlier wake ups as you get closer to the first day back. There are some studies out there that suggest it takes about three weeks to change someone’s regular schedule.
- Shop for school supplies together - Having your children involved in this process can be fun. Have them start by creating a list of what they think they will need. Compare it to the school supply list afterwards and suggest the things they’ve missed and maybe ask for a reason for the things they added. For older students, have them look through the “Back-to-School” flyers and price out what they need. Maybe add a budget component to the task.
- Connect with friends - This may be one of the more enjoyable parts of getting back into school mode. For some students, it has been a while since they have seen some of their school friends. Maybe plan some play dates. Or, one suggestion I saw was a “Back-to-School” “End of Summer” party. This works great for connecting with other parents as well.
- Start cutting back on screen time - Not everyone has had a summer filled with camps or cottages. Some students have spent a lot of time consuming media of all sorts on screens - TV, video games, YouTube, Netflix, etc, etc. Similar to the sleep routines, if you limit your child’s use of screen time during school, you may want to begin implementing the limits gradually over the coming weeks in preparation.
- Review last year’s results / Set goals - A report card is a funny thing. I remember being so worried about my report card and, after a couple of days, all would be back to normal and we would never talk about that report card again, until the next one came out. One suggestion is to use the report card as a review of what went well and what needs work. Having a conversation and using the results to try and set some reasonable goals for the upcoming year will help to understand expectations, as well as set priorities and develop an important step towards ownership of the results.
- Get organized - The week before school starts, make sure all of your supplies are ready to go. Lunch box and new backpack? Pack everything together and add things as you pick them up. Waiting until the night before adds more stress than anyone needs.
- Make an after-school plan with your kids - Discussions beforehand about expectations or plans is always helpful going into a change of season. Making sure everyone is on the same page allows things to go smoothly. Have conversations about after-school plans, such as homework time, snacks, media time and limits. Who is taking care of lunches? Is there a specific space for homework? What about phones or Chromebook use? These are all items that should be discussed and expectations set and agreed upon, before you are back in the thick of things.
- Update/review all your contact information on PCS ParentsWeb - Be sure to head online and verify, or enter all the pertinent contact info for your family. Phone numbers, addresses, email, emergency contact information, any updated medical information and approved alternate pick-up drivers. All this information is important to making sure we start the year off right and needs to be verified as soon as possible. (See the document from the Friday Facts for instructions)
- Pray for the upcoming year - Lastly, and most importantly, take time as a family to pray for the upcoming school year. Pray for all the planning and goal setting you have put into getting ready. Pray for the teachers, the other students and their families. Pray for the presence of God and His Holy Spirit to fill the hallways of the school. When difficulties or challenges arise through the school year, pray that each student will seek wisdom and confidence through the Word and learn to stand firm on the foundation Christ has provided for us. Pray for protection over the school and that PCS will continue to impact the lives of past, present and future students and their families.
There are probably lots of other great tips you currently do or have heard from others. Feel free to share them here in the comment section, and we will possibly add them to our Facebook page as well for others to consider. We strongly believe that through preparation and organization, we can help our children to have a smooth transition back into the new school year. We also know that some things don’t always go the way we plan, but that is the journey. As staff, we are praying for all of our families as you prepare to come back. We look forward to what God has in store for us all this year.
Here is a quick prayer video for you to consider as we move closer to that first day back.