Labor Day marks the end of summer in my book. In NY school started after Labor Day, and the start of school was undeniably the end of summer break. Whether children in your area start school this week or started school several weeks ago, the beginning of fall is a great time to reassess your routine and set up your habits and schedule to support a successful year ahead. Here are three tips to help you and your family start or continue healthy routines to support your goals.
1. Make space for school documents. I am a big believer in a “registration station” when you first enter a home.This is a place where important papers can be properly dealt with rather than lost to the ether of “the pile” – where they are sure to end up ignored or lost.Whatever system you use, make sure it’s efficient and works for the reality of your life.With little ones starting school or day care, it’s important to weave this new role “school-aged parent” into your registration station routine.Add a hanging folder, get a binder, or take pictures of all the important documents your child brings home.These papers may include schedules, lunch menus, teacher contact/office hours, and sick policy.Make sure these documents are in a place that are easy for you, your partner, and other caretakers to find in a pinch.
2. Set up a “Homework Kit”. This could be a bag, box, or pencil case – it doesn’t need to take up actual real estate in your home.Make sure your container is filled with everything your child needs to complete their homework so you don’t waste precious time searching for the perfect pencil or looking for a ruler.The list of what to supply in the kit will look similar to what your teacher requests each individual child to have in their classroom – but you can tailor the kit as the year progresses.After each use make sure the kit is replenished and ready to go for the next day!
3. Get your exercise, drink your water. This last tip is a general rule for living a good life. Summer is an active time where there are many opportunities to get outside and play – and the heat is often a natural reminder to drink more water and eat water-rich fruits.Keep these summer habits going even as the weather and your schedule changes.Prioritize that after dinner walk for you and your child, start a daily family dance party, try out some pre-bed time yoga – whatever floats your boat and gets you moving!Set some goals for water intake and track them with stickers or water bottles (i.e, “I need to drink two water bottles a day”). Speak with your child’s classroom teacher about allowing students to keep water bottles out throughout the day and helping children remember to drink water.
Every family has different roles, routines, and habits that make up their life. Hopefully some of these tips will help your family engine run with greater ease. What are your tips and tricks to start your school year off right?