The first day of school is coming soon!
I can hardly believe it. At our house, we have ten days before the first day of school. But preparing for the first day starts TODAY.
No thanks Valerie, shouldn’t we savor and linger in the last few weeks of summer?
Oh, most definitely.
I’m not saying to set your kid’s alarm clock to 6 am tonight. But the sooner you start inserting some structure in the last couple weeks of summer the more prepared for the first day you will be.
For better or worse this starts with you, Parental Unit.
Start Waking Up Early
I know there are a couple of weeks of sleeping in, but you will benefit from starting to wake up before your kids. Don’t roll your eyes just yet. Let me explain.
Getting in the habit of getting up before your kiddos allows your stress levels to stay low. I you have a moment to get up, maybe shower, and eat something the missing shoes when it’s time to get in the car has a lower chance of setting off the crazy meter.
Because the level of stress you have in the morning will be the level of stress your children feel as they start their school day. Lysa TerKeurst said once in Proverbs31, that we should ‘leave them with our peace”.
Tight timelines, tired bodies, and all the things they need for the day are enough chaos that anything we can do to make the transition to their school day better is worth it.
So take a moment to think about when everyone needs to be in the car to head to school, what time the kids will need to be up, and how much time you need to feel ready to take on the day. Or how many cups of coffee?
Plan and Prep
Consider what are the things you can do the night before to make the morning less stressful.
Some parents have their kids set out their clothes the night before. I even heard of one mom who had their kids prep their wardrobes for the week. ‘Cause let’s be honest, if I don’t know where the Sonic socks are the night before, I’m not going to know where they are before my first cup of coffee. Or after, truthfully. I’m a sandal kinda gal.
At our house, I have found that prepping the kids' lunches the night before has been a weight lifted off my shoulders in the morning chaos. I put together their sandwiches and fruit. Then set out their drinks and snack items, so come the morning I’m just stuffing things in their backpack.
On the nights I neglect to do this my stress level is 10X what it would be if the prep work had been done.
So what can you prep the night before to make the morning go smoothly?
Do a Few Test Runs
Practice makes perfect, right? It’s hard enough going from the slow pace of summer mornings to getting all the ducks in line and marching out the door at the right time.
Start by planning a few fun outings as you get closer to the first day of school that will encourage the get-up-and-go mentality you want for your school days. Building in the expectations of school mornings before the first day will make it an easier transition.
Then a few days before school, do an actual test run. Get up and out the door at the right time. Then trek over to the school to play on the playground. It makes for a fun morning, and you never know who else you’ll meet there. My oldest found his Kindergarten best friend on our test run walk to school. He felt so confident going into school the first day because he knew his friend would be walking with him.
The first day of school is always exciting, but we don’t just want the first day to go well. We want every day of school to be enjoyable and for our kids to feel encouraged and set up for success from the start. Building in the above habits are steps to set your kids up for a great year ahead.