I can't believe it is that time of the year, again. The first day of school is just around the corner! I wonder where summer has gone? Now it is time to find that list of back to school supplies and then purchase them?
Does it seem like your kids are groaning on the outside when you talk about going back to school? Just realize that no matter how they act on the outside they are most likely a little bit nervous on the inside. They probably just don't think it is cool to let those feelings show to their mom.
Starting school is much less stressful if you take the time to get everyone back into the school year routine before you actually need it. How do you accomplish that? Where do you start? Here are some ideas that have worked well for our family. Please test them out and let me know how well they worked for you.
Tip Number 1: A few weeks before school starts get the whole family together and create a plan. Create a list of all the family's daily and weekly activities. Don't forget to include the daily no brainers such as things like homework and after school sports. Now, create a calendar from your list. Make sure your kids are involved with the scheduling because the more input the kids have in their schedule, the more interest they will have to see it be successful. Balance the schedule out so you include down time and family fun. Once the schedule is set, try it out for a few weeks to set your routine and work out the bugs.
Tip Number 2: Ask each child to pick just one or two extra curricular activities to enjoy outside of school. Over-booking your child can add unnecessary stress on both of you. Schedule these activities in to the calendar but still keep homework a priority. REMEMBER any "must see" TV shows can now be recorded and watched later in the evening, week or weekend. (What did we do before TiVo?)
Tip Number 3: For your child to be successful in school you must make homework a priority. Decide with your kids where and what time they will complete their homework. The "homework" area could be the kitchen or dinning room table, the kid's room or the family den. Consistency is the key for success here. Set up the "homework" area with supplies like paper, pencils, crayons etc. Having supplies on hand will ensure homework will be completed on time.
Tip Number 4: Get in the habit of organizing for the school day the night before. Thirty minutes before bedtime, get kids "stuff ready" for the next day. Gather homework, supplies, books and backpacks, even after school activity stuff. In our household we make lunches the day before to alleviate any chaos and rushing in the morning. This allows everyone to eat a good breakfast be more relaxed and ready to face the day ahead.
Tip Number 5: Post an affirmation on the fridge for the whole family to read as they are getting breakfast. You can help the little ones read it as well. Affirmations help to develop a positive mindset: such as, "Learning is fun and exciting". Here is a great site for affirmations for kids, Abundance Tapestry . Affirmations are a great tool to start the day off with a bang!
Tip Number 6: Involve your kids in their lunch choices. This will prevent your children from getting bored with their lunches. You could also spend time researching the Internet for unusual lunch ideas. Creative lunches will make your kids the envy of the class!
Tip Number 7: Talk to your child about what makes going to school so great to create anticipation and excitement for the school year! Some examples would be meeting new friends, catching up with the friends they haven't seen all summer, new cloths, backpack and books.
Tip Number 8: If at all possible, take some time off of work during the first week of school especially if your child is starting kindergarten or has just started a new school. Go to school with your child on the first day.
Tip Number 9: And when you are on your own during the day, take some time for yourself. A relaxed Mom and Dad will help the kids to relax. If you are excited about the first day of school for your child your excitement will be contagious and your kids will be excited as well.
Tip Number 10: Pay close attention to how your child acts during the first few weeks of school. You know your kids better than anyone so if they seem overly anxious around going to school or their anxiety continues for too long you need to investigate the problem further. There may be an underlying cause of your child's anxiety such as bullying and you want to figure that out ASAP!

If you find these tips useful I would love to hear about it on our Marvin Discovers Snow Fanpage. If you have any tips that have worked for you and your family you can share them there as well. Marvin and I look forward to getting to know you there, so come on over and post on our wall! You could win a copy of Marvin's first book, Marvin Discovers Snow.

Author's Bio: 

Hi my name is Kathryn Kessler. I am a children's picture book author. My first published book is titled, Marvin Discovers Snow, and with this book I created MarvinDiscovers. At MarvinDiscovers I share my passion for families connecting with their children on a creative level. I am passionate about the precious time families spend together discovering the world through their children’s eyes. I have raised two wonderful young men who are leading their own successful lives and I am a grandmother to a beautiful little girl. I know what it takes to raise children in the busy world of schedules, practices and homework. I have just started to write articles for families on everyday family topics. These articles have been posted at www.ideamarketers.com. I invite you to discover my website, www.marvindiscovers.com and I look forward to sharing my passion with you.