Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tips for getting your kids ready to go back to school.

This school year is a very exciting time for my kids.  The 'Messy Princess' is 3 year old now and is starting Nursery school 3 days a week.  'The Joker' is 5 years old and will be going to Transitional Kindergarten aka TK.  Last year I had to take my daughter kicking and screaming out of the school, literally, because she so badly wanted to stay.  This year she gets to stay and since big brother is doing a year of TK, he'll be in the same school to show her the ropes.

I remember back when I was very young, some things I looked forward to each school year was picking out my backpack, pencil holder, folders and lunch box.  Being cheap, er, frugal, I got a Hello Kitty backpack for my daughter at the end of the season last year, on clearance for $3.  'The Joker' got a Star Wars backpack and matching lunch box for his birthday.  They're young enough that things like folders and pencil holders aren't necessary at this time.  But what I might do is take advantage of some of the back-to-school sales and restock our crayons, get them each their own pair of kid-friendly scissors, glue sticks, construction paper etc.  That should be fun, right?

The other thing that we've been doing to prepare for school is working on writing skills and learning our address.  And of course we read, read, read and read some more!  I hated reading as a kid.  It wasn't until I was an adult that I discovered how wonderful reading is.  My goal is to teach my kids that reading isn't boring.  It's relaxing and fun.

Don’t forget to share these important back-to-school tips with your children:
  • Get enough sleep each night. When you don't get enough sleep it can be difficult to focus and be alert. Sleepy kids in school aren't going to absorb as much as kid who are well rested.
  • Eat a healthy breakfast each morning. Try to avoid sugary cereals and things like Pop Tarts. You don't want your child going to school coming down from a sugar high! Try for wholesome foods like oatmeal, cream of wheat, fruits, eggs, yogurt etc.
  • Always go to school prepared. It might help to pick out your school outfit, pack your lunch, and organize your backpack the night before so there’s no rushing the next morning. Have you ever seen those weekly closet organizers for kids? We don't have that exact kind but we have something similar. I think we're going to make tags for each day and then on Sunday night get outfits ready for each day of the week. That will save so much time during the week.
  • If you don’t understand something, always ask your teacher. My kids are still young but this is SO important. It's *okay* to ask for help! It's *okay* if you don't understand. That's why we have school and teachers to help us learn!
  • Try your best at everything you do. I've been trying to teach my kids that it's important for them to be proud of *themselves*. If they feel they've done their best and are proud of their work, then everyone else will be proud, too. It might take more than one try to accomplish a goal and that is okay!
  • Smile! It takes less muscles to smile than it does to frown. At least that's what one of my teachers always told us :-) Besides, a simple smile can totally alter a persons mood. Having a grumpy day? Think of something that makes you happy and that you can look forward to!
Here are some books from HarperCollins that could help make your child's back-to-school experience a walk in the park! Click on the books to take a look inside.

How are you and your children preparing for back-to-school?  
“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms blogging program to be eligible to get a HarperCollins book set. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”


Lynn said...

These are great tips. One tip I have is to start adjusting the sleep routine a few weeks before school starts. Set the bedtime a few minutes earlier each day, and wake the kids up a few minutes earlier each day. That way, when school starts, the sleep schedule won't be such a problem.