We would hate for you to wish the summer away by focusing too much on the rapidly approaching school year but the fact is, autumn is coming!
Here are a couple of things that you can do with your family to keep the transition from Summer to School as smoothe as butter:
1. Get Pumped
Back to school means different things to different families. For some, it is an exciting time to get back into a regular routine and for others it is a stressful period filled with scheduling conflicts and traffic jams. One way for the whole family to start getting excited rather than stressed about the change of season, is to start asking your kids questions that will help increase their excitement vs. fear about the upcoming year. This means different things for different ages of course but asking your tween questions like "which friends are you most excited to reconnect with this fall?" and asking your soon-to-be kindergardener, "What kinds of special things would you like to buy to put in your very first pencil case" can help to plant the seed early that this is a FUN time of year, not a stressful one.
2. Get Organized
Remember that craft cupboard that you've been meaning to either dump into a garbage can or light on fire? Or what about your 3 year olds bedside table which last time you checked was stuffed with cereal? These are the nooks and crannies that if not dealt with effectively, have been known to drive a parent balistic. Take a deep breath, go to your favorite home supply store, buy some organizational tools such as giant tupperware or shelving, and a garbage can. Now throw out every and anything that your kids won't miss. Take out a couple of craft keepsakes for the memory box but aside from that, you need to be rutheless. Can't bring yourself to this or don't have the time? Hire someone to do it for you. Believe us, getting these areas organized before the school year is worth it!
3. Get Sleep on Track
Many families lose their regular sleep schedule throughout the summer. You need to evaluate what time your kids are waking up naturally right now - and what time you will need them to wake up during the school year and use the next few weeks to slowly but surely get back to that wakeup time or at least a little closer to it. All it takes is one early morning to start shifting sleep. Plan a fun family activity one day this week that will have everyone waking up early (Canada's Wonderland?). The result is that everyone will fall asleep earlier that night and will wake up slightly earlier the next morning. It's tough to whip the kids out of bed when they are still enjoying the summer but if you ease them into it slowly but surely it will save you from tears come the 7AM wakeupcall on the first day back to school.
4. Get Ready to Compromise
One of the hardest parts of getting back into the school routine is the inevitable backlash from after school activities that your kids do not want to participate in. Some little ones are better at this than others in this department. One suggestion here is to make compromises with your kids about after school activities. If you really would like your child to continue with Ballet for example and they dont' want to, maybe suggest that instead of Tap, your child can do Hip-Hop or another class that is more appealing to them. If you have to battle your son or daughter to get to Piano Lessons every week (I was a hellian as a child with this!)...maybe it's time for a musical instrument swap. This can be hard to swallow, especially if you know your kid has a natural affinity but no passion towards a certain instrument however making the switch to guitar for example may just make everyones lives a little easier. If your child is doing an activity that they love they will be much more likely to excel in it.
5. Now Relax
As much as these steps will help to get you and the fam revved up for the fall, it's important not to wish away the last few weeks of summer. So the final step here is just to enjoy. Make a list with your kids of a couple things you'd like to do as a family before the school year takes off. Maybe a little overnight camping trip or a trip to the Ex is all it takes to complete the perfect summer for your little ones.
The Summerhill Club