Good Night Sleep
I know that it sounds simple and it really is for many positive reasons. The recommended amount of sleep for an elementary student is 9-10 hours a night. This is really important for our littlest students because a full day of school will be a shock to their daily routine.
Being a former athlete and a person continually striving to stay healthy, nutritious meals and snacks will help fuel the body during the school day. Look for ways to encourage healthy eating habits so that our students will be able to focus on their learning and not be a recipient of the dreaded "Sugar Highs/Lows" during the school day.
Set Clothes Out The Night Before
I am seeing this in my own household and it is working wonders. This allows for our morning routine to be smooth and calm without the furry of looking for that shirt or sock in the morning.
Make this a doable schedule for you and your family. I know that for our family, we have this routine that works for us so take it as a suggestion and tweak it for what is best in your home. This takes about 30-45 minutes in the morning.
- Wake kids up with calm and encouraging greeting- I have to remind myself to do this each time I go and get my children up
- Before leaving child's room, make sure they are up and set the expectation that they need to get dressed with clothes already laid out and teeth brushed
- Breakfast will be waiting for them that at the breakfast table (fruit and cottage cheese, healthy dry cereals, oatmeal... some examples from our weekly menu)
- Kids pick our their socks from the sock basket (amazing idea my wife had) and put shoes on
- Family is ready for an amazing day at school... Most day
- Side note: while kids are eating breakfast I am organizing the family lunches for the day and putting it in the car for the morning drive
Morning Drop Off/Pick Up Procedures
Make sure you already have the plan in place so that your child will be comforted and know exactly what to expect each day for drop off and pick up from school. There is a sense of security when you know this procedure ahead of time so everyone's minds are not thinking of this task.
Here are two videos our campus produced so that you are aware of BPE protocols:
Drop Off and Pick Up Video
Afternoon Dismissal Protocol Change From Fall of 2014
Be Proactive to Stay CALM
As with any new adventure, the plan always seems clear in our minds and when changes occur we can let our emotions rise. We need to keep in mind that our students and children feed off from those who they look up to in life... us. So when the first few days hit those bumps in the road, be there to listen and problem solve out loud with your child so that they can see/hear how to properly address issues as they "Unexpectedly" arise.
Listen to Your Child's Day
Make sure to take time to hear what amazing things they did or did not do in school. When a child knows that they are being heard and understood, they will continue to confide in us as a caring adult. This is planting a good communication seed so that when middle and high school starts and the typical teenager pulls away from their parents, they know that we are there to just listen.
I give one bit of advice and that is to just listen first without judgement or wanting to fix an issue that comes up. Allow for the child to share what is going on, validate what they said by repeating or paraphrasing their story and then ask if they would like your help. Sometimes they will want you help (which could be advice or just listening) and sometimes not. This allows for them to take ownership of their life and know that they are capable of doing amazing things in their life without "mom or dad saving them".
Thanks for taking the time to read my suggestions and I hope that it will help you and your family off to a great start to the school year.
Your Biggest Fan,
"It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan."