August 19, 2011

Transitioning to go Back to School

Where has the summer gone? How can it be Back to School time already? I am not ready.

Every year when there are two weeks left in summer vacation I get, well, squirrely. I begin making my lists, working out schedules, force-trying clothes on my children, making mental lunch menus and school supply shopping. However, I do begin my whirlwind early enough that come the Sunday before that first Monday back-to-the-grind, we are all set and ready to go!

Probably the biggest hurdle in the Back to Reality (I mean Back to School) weeks are psyching my kids up for early mornings, no TV/xbox, nightly homework, meals at the table and daily showers. It is a hard sell. But with the right spin everyone is ultimately excited and ready for the transition.

The week before school starts I like to call (drum roll….) Surprise Week! And, the great thing about Surprise Week is that it is easy on me because it is nothing planned/pre-discussed with the children. The kids get a kick out of the “surprise” in each day. Every day is something out of the ordinary. It can be as big a surprise as ice skating or a quick day trip to the beach, or as small as ice cream after dinner, or better yet, ice cream for dinner! Along with the surprises, I sneak in earlier bedtimes, and earlier wake-up calls. Thus begins the slide back into our normal school-year life. The structure slowly creeps back in and they barely even notice!

The whole family begins to operate on our soon-to-be regular schedule. Wake-up time, breakfast, showers, dinner, bedtime, all start at the scheduled time before the school year kicks off. This allows the kids the opportunity to adjust before all that learning stuff starts to happen.

This is an exciting time of year. They. Are. Going. Back. To. School! Parents everywhere Rejoice! And, with the right planning and pacing, kids everywhere will slip right back into their routines with little trouble.

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