August is rolling in on heat waves-- at least here in the US!--and along with it come dreams of school-friend reunions, the blessed organization of a weekly schedule, and the coming crisp days of fall. So what can you do to make this transition seamless, grasping these last lazy, hazy days of summer while embracing the creative, productive school mood?
Ease into routines early to prepare for the school-day schedule
As you edge into a more regimented schedule, try to start each morning with a healthy breakfast. Well-rounded breakfasts don’t have to be time-intensive either. Smoothies, for example, are a quick, yummy treat to start off the day. Plus, homemade smoothies give you a chance to take advantage of the last months of fresh, sun-ripened summer fruits! Healthy whole-grain cereals are also a quick option, and older kids can even “prepare” such a breakfast themselves! Add some fun with our unique sipping spoons!
Jumpstart your family’s motivation
As the responsibilities of school work draw near, consider ways to motivate your kids to be independent. They could even help with end-of-summer chores, depending on their age. Kids are often eager to prove their independence, and imagine how proud they will be (and you too!) when they have chopped summer vegetables, helped in the yard, or loaded the dishwasher. Praise them for contributing to the family meal by giving verbal encouragement, or even a few dollars. Independence and motivation go a long way, and you will reap the benefits throughout the entire school year. Keep the family inspired during this transition—our fun motivational cards can be used for many occasions (like a surprise tucked into a school lunch!) and will put a smile on their faces.
Do your kids have summer assignments that have been collecting dust for the last two months? Get out those project sheets and begin! It’s easier to start these a few weeks before the first day of school, so that you can do a bit each day, lightening the burden for later.
If you have kids who are excited about their gadgets, use that to your advantage by suggesting some fun, organizational apps like the myHomework Student Planner, which allows students to input homework assignments and due dates so that prioritizing and reminding is automatic. Another fully-loaded app we love is Evernote. Whether you need a quick organization tool for your to-do list, or a heavy-duty helper to manage your back-to-school shopping receipts and memos, Evernote really makes it easy!
Make Back-to-School shopping a team effort
Just because it’s a shopping trip for school supplies doesn’t mean it has to be boring! Depending on your kids’ ages, you could hand over responsibility in small doses, like by making them prepare the list of required items, rather than you doing all of the work. This is a great opportunity to explain the differences between brands, and make them aware of cost, the value of their money, and the importance of understanding that hard work (like that vegetable-chopping or weed-pulling!) pays off.
To stay motivated while shopping, check the mundane items (pencils, reams of paper, binders) off the list first, and save the best for last! Reward patient kids by allowing them to pick out a couple of fun items to take back to school, like our “pen-cake” pencil case, or a video-game inspired lunchbox. And did you know that the kids are learning the metric system now, in addition to the American system? Dating all the way back to 1799, the metric system is the internationally established standard, so your kids will be smart in any corner of the world! Keep the learning going both at home and school with our fun wooden rulers, which are a toy and ruler in one. Even the little ones will enjoy them, and older kids can use them in the classroom.
Be an example: Take care of yourself!
The back-to-school weeks of August are a flurry of activity. Remember to take care of yourself mentally and physically to stay positive and productive! Though you might be spending more time indoors, try to maintain a regular workout schedule when you have time. Yoga and Pilates, for instance, are not only good for your body, but your mental and emotional peace as well! Staying centered in this busy time is a great way to model for your kids the importance of mindfulness and self-care.
Don’t forget to enjoy the last days of summer!
Finally, in the back-to-school frenzy, it’s easy to get excited about the future and forget to grasp those final days of summer vacation. Consider a spontaneous weekend trip with the family while schedules are still relaxed. Explore a local park, go out for ice cream, or try out a drive-in movie theater! At home, giggle with the kids while they decorate their arms with temporary tattoos, or bedazzle their bikes for school with our fun reflective stickers!
So make the most of the last sweet summer days, and get ready for the fun transition back to school. Being prepared before shopping, keeping it fun with personalized pieces, and remembering to breathe deep and stay positive will ensure that the whirlwind of beginning the school year is a breeze for your family!