Our 3 Best Back-to-School Tips
This isn’t your typical back to school blog post.
I am not going to share the backpacks or lunch boxes we are using and I am not going to share the best back-to-school sales.
Instead I am going to share the tips I’ve picked up over the years as an elementary school teacher, a homeschool teacher and most importantly, as a mom.
If I have learned anything over the years, it’s that consistency and predictability matter. Kids THRIVE when they know what to expect and when to expect them.
Our boys went from homeschool to public school last year for the first time. There was a lot of change and transition that came with this and we learned a LOT. My first tip comes from that experience.
1 - Find you when your child eats snack and lunch at school and begin that schedule at home ASAP. Kids thrive on consistency and nothing is more important than fueling their bodies consistently. If your kids eat lunch at 11am at school, but at home it’s 12:30pm, you may encounter a few problems when school starts.
They may not be hungry at 11am. Which means they may not eat all of their lunch. Which means they will be hungry later (but not able to eat). Which means they may become fatigued, grouchy or hangry. Which interferes with learning.
The best thing you can do for your kiddos is find out their eating times at school and mimic those times at home leading up to the first day of school. Perhaps even more important is keeping this eating schedule on the weekends.
What brought all of this to my attention was the first weekend after our kids went to public school. They were hungry for snacks much sooner than I was used to. Our lunch time was so much later than the schools and this lead to two morning snacks instead of one.
Once I figured out that the problem was our eating times not aligning with the school schedule, I adjusted it and it made all the difference. I can promise you that aligning your child’s eating schedule at home with their school schedule will help tremendously and I bet you'll notice a positive difference in their behavior too.
2 - Make sure your child is getting enough sleep AND keep your child’s sleep and wake schedule the same ALL WEEK LONG. This means weekends too!
As a public school teacher, Mondays were always the most challenging. Most kids are tired because their schedules were off. They had stayed up too late and slept in all weekend long. The kids who did not struggle were the ones who kept the same bedtimes and wake up times throughout the weekend.
This isn’t to say that you can’t have a fun, late night every once in awhile, but make that the exception rather than the rule.
Our family loves to save late night fun for 3 days weekends or holidays where our kids have more time to get back on their schedule before going back to school.
3 - Teach your child to be an includer.
We believe everyone is special and important. We teach our children this as well. We have been teaching our sons to be “includers” since they could talk. This simply means that in group play, everyone is allowed to join in.
We teach our boys that if someone asks to play with them, the answer is always yes! We also teach our boys that if they see someone who is being excluded, they are to go up and include them in their group.
The younger we can make this practice the norm, the better.
The world is full of a lot of hate, but there isn’t room for that in our lives so we are sure to teach our children to love, accept and include others.
Even if it’s hard.
Even if no one else is doing it.
Even if it makes others want to leave the group.
Doing the right thing is usually simple, but simple isn’t always going to be easy.
Your child’s kindness could make all the difference in the life of another child this school year.