BACK TO SCHOOL is the time of butterflies in the tummy, nail biting anticipation, dread, hopes, and dreams. And I’m not talking about the kids! These are my feelings. Remembering what I felt like as summer faded and the first cool breezes of autumn blew …oh the fear that came with it. So I try my best not to pass this on to my kids.
Having boys, its not at all easy to rein in the wildness and craze of carefree summer into a focused school mind set. It’s hard work. Therefore I always tried peppering the 2 weeks prior to school with small reminders of schedule and responsibility… translating to …back to routine.
For boys I find it most important to get them thinking about time constraints and getting back into a schedule. I like the idea of giving them specific chores to do in the morning that they will have to wake up early to accomplish. This eases them back into the rise and shine mode.
But besides the practical side of easing them back into a schedule, the psychological aspect of helping them project themselves into a school mindset makes it easier to plunge right into it once it school actually begins.
Here are some ideas other moms have suggested which I will embellish on. Reading books with the kids about the first day of school is a great idea. Taking it one step further have the kids act out the book and play the characters. Give them a chance to recite the book by heart. This not only gets them to role play. It also gets their brain in gear for learning, memorizing, assimilating material. Play school or teacher is another good idea.
In conjunction with this I suggest having them come up with class room activities they would do if they were teachers and help them to carry them out. Perhaps it will be and arts and crafts project like making button covers for a back to school outfit. Maybe it will be writing a sequel to a favorite children’s book. Maybe it will be going to the local market and to learn about fruits and vegetables. You can suggest fun things as well and them do them together and remind them how fun school can be.
A family tradition at our house was ART EXHIBITS. A good time to set a date for one is a few days before school. Have the kids draw a series of pictures related to first day of school. Use your kitchen or living room as an art gallery to showcase the art work. Assign Judges (parents, siblings, grandparents, friends or neighbors) to vote on and give award seals for the best pictures of in the series per sibling. Give an AWARD certificates or place a STAR on the winning picture of the series. Have an awards ceremony and celebration to follow with a special candle light dinner, a favorite dessert and special story time.
Or this year bake Back to School Cookies designed in the shape of a little school house? or book? or something related to school.
At bed time the week before school, instead of telling the kids a story ask them to tell YOU a story. Give them some topics such as school, friends, teachers, books, school supplies or anything related. Start one off to open up their imagination….Once upon a time there was a talking pencil who loved to go to school… etc etc.
My favorite part of all: On the eve before school the kids and I used to go to the beach for a late afternoon supper on the sand. We ate our sandwiches by the shore and enjoyed the breeze. As we watched the sun setting we said good bye to summer and welcomed the beginning of something new.