It’s back to school time!!! Yippie!
As I previously mentioned in last year’s back to school article, I really enjoy the start of a new school year! It has always been so very exciting to me and I really enjoy the approach of the Fall season! I’ve always seen it as a chance to start fresh with new ideas & experiences. The start of this school year gives me the same feelings and thoughts but in an amplified special way because my daughter started preschool! I tried to prepare myself for a new normal all summer but now that it’s here I’m not sure my heart is ready to be away from her. 🙂 Being at home with my children every day allowed us to take our time getting ready for the day and easing our way into our daily routine at our own pace. Obviously, I had to plan for that to all change with our new normal and that’s when I came up with a “Game Plan!”
Knowing that children do well with consistent routines, I tried to come up with a game plan of routines to help us ease into the school year as best as we can. I tried to think of the things that give my daughter comfort and structure throughout a day and then I broke down the day into time frames. Then I was able to come up with routine ideas that I can do each day to help her prepare. Next, I’ll have to come up with a game plan to help me cope with my baby girl being away from me every day now, but I’ll save that for another article 🙂
Here is my game plan:
- Before school– I think having a strong start to the day is very important for all of us, especially children! I know that my daughter needs to ease into her day, therefore, my goal is to make sure that I get her up early enough that she has time for a few things that I know help her thrive and have that strong start.
- Soft music– I have found that having really calming music playing when the children wake up, really helps start the day off peacefully. So I usually stream Mozart’s children’s radio or soft Christian contemporary music from Pandora and have that playing before they wake up.
- Cuddle time-She just needs a few minutes of this sometimes, other times she just wants to lay in her bed and snuggle with her blanket for a moment. So, I try and leave room in our morning schedule for this.
- Reading time-Lately she has been asking for us to read “as a family” in the morning. Yes, those are her words! LOL So my husband and I pause for about 5 minutes and read a quick story with the children before getting them dressed.
- A nice distraction during hair combing time- My daughter does not like to get her hair done and some mornings she would just scream the entire time, but a close friend of mine suggested letting her watch her favorite show or play a quick game on the tablet to distract her and that has worked perfectly! Thanks, Jamila 🙂
- Breakfast time– My daughter has a tendency to drag out how long she eats in the morning, but we have discovered letting her choose what she wants to eat in the morning usually speeds up the process.
- Getting out of the door on time-We have learned that allowing her to take one of her stuffed animals with her for the car ride, gives her some comfort of home as she gets ready to go to her new place. She usually holds her little “friend” as we drive to school.
- Car ride time- I try to make the car ride an upbeat process, talking about all the fun things she will do, and I also use the time to remind her of the positive behaviors she should have during the school day. We hold hands and say a quick prayer before she gets out of the car and then she’s off! 🙂
2.) During school– Thankfully during the summer, my daughter’s school had a transition period for her class and allowed them to come to school for a few hours to get familiar with the school, the structure, the teachers, all while meeting and engaging with her soon to be classmates. This proved to be very beneficial for my daughter, however, they told me that after a while she would start asking for me. She’s not used to being away from me for long periods of time. So being mindful of this, I set two alarm reminders on my phone to remind me to stop and say a prayer for her during the day. I know it’s going to be a transition process but I also know that God will walk us both through our new normal of being apart from each other every day. I also slid a family picture into her folder so that she can see all of our faces anytime she needs some comfort from home.
3.) After school– I try to make sure she has free time after school every day. Just like adults need to unwind after a work day, children need to unwind after a school day. Some days I stop at a neighborhood park on the way home from school and just let her run around and enjoy some play time with her little brother, if not, as soon as she comes home and has a snack we go outside and play. I also use this time to ask her how her day went and what she learned about. We also talk about the day during dinner time and after dinner time she gets a sticker on her goals chart if she earned it that day.
5.) Before bed– Getting to bed on time is a must! Since my daughter needs the extra time in the morning, it’s important that she goes to bed early.
So, there is my game plan! Recognizably, plans can always change, especially as children’s needs change. As she gets older and gets more used to going to school, I may have to adjust this plan and that would be appropriate. My overall goal is to help her transition out of summer and being at home with me all the time, as well as, adjust to our new way of life as best as she can. 🙂
Action Step(s): You know your children best, try to think about any special needs that you can meet or plan for, to make their transition into the school year as smooth as possible. Often times, we finish how we start, so think of ways to help your children have a strong start to each school day!
“I never try to make my experiences or knowledge the principle or standard for others, but I share my experiences and knowledge hoping that through sharing, I might positively impact, inspire & empower someone else’s life.”-Jill