When they asked the little girl where her home was she replied - Where mother is

Back To School

Published: August 26, 2007

It is countdown time for kids to head back to school - and time for me to unleash the news to my son that his bathing suit attire and Popsicle eating days are numbered.

It has been a great summer with him and he has enjoyed all the perks of summer – including his schedule sliding a bit for bedtime. But I do need to start preparing him, as his days are going to be longer (four-year-old preschool is three days per week, and a half-hour longer) and his routine will be changing – big time.

It has been a great help that his Preschool teacher sent us a letter in the middle of the summer to touch base with all her students. It kept her in my son’s mind and was a great reminder of how much he enjoys school and learning. In addition, I’ve started to talk a bit more about school and all his friends that he will see when he returns.

We are cutting down on the amount of treats he has enjoyed like ice cream and decadent cookies that have made their way in to our home over the summer months. I have been trying to put more emphasis on healthier choices such as watermelon, cherries and strawberry yogurt (a big hit in my house). And we are trying to have the snacks at the same time each day at home instead of “anytime” and “anywhere”.

His bedtime routine is a bit out of whack and needs to be adjusted, so we’ve been setting his bedtime back slightly earlier (by ten minutes), so by the time September hits – we will be back to a better bedtime schedule. He never quite understood why he had to go to bed during the summer when it was light out (and other older kids were still playing out on the street).

Routine is key to every child’s life so that they can feel confident and know what to expect throughout their day. Slowly adjusting their routine now will help eliminate any stresses they may endure when school begins.

Also, like anything you want your child to do, you need to make it fun and exciting for them. We’ve purchased a new back-pack, a few new clothes, and some neat little “school stuff” that have helped prepare him for returning to school. Now he can’t wait for his friends and teacher to see his new things.

We’ve also marked it on our calendar when it is time to head back to school with exclamation points and a happy face in red marker. Our last big hurrah before school starts is a visit to the PNE this year. We know it is going to be the last of all the “sweet treats” for quite some time, and we have told him it is a celebration of “back to school”.

I am also planning on having everything set out the night before like his clothes, back pack and items for school. I don’t want any rushing or stresses on the day of his return to school, and I want him to get a good night’s sleep.

But I am trying not to go overboard with being too prepared. As a parent, you can make the best plans in the world - and it can all go to pot at anytime. So don’t get too stressed about them having a “perfect” day, but rather, just a fun, happy day that they can use as a spring board in to the new school year.

Kelley Scarsbrook is a Stay at Home Mom who writes bi-weekly for Black Press. You can visit her website at www.thestayathomemother.com or email her at feedback@thestayathomemother.com