Back to School
It’s part of the cycle of life with kids. We’re often oh so ready for school to be over in June and then we’re equally ready for school to start back up in September (or mid-August as the case may be).
What this signals for us grown-ups is a change in schedule.
It’s an opportunity to revisit what works and what doesn’t in our morning and afternoon routines.
- Were you getting your exercise in early because you had a little more flexibility in the summer mornings?
- Was dinner later than usual?
- Maybe you didn’t have to pack the kids’ lunches for 2 months.
Time for an adjustment.
If you haven’t already, look at your “new” daily schedule and make sure it has what you need in there:
- Time to make meals
- Breakfasts might be on a tighter schedule
- Lunches may be made in the mornings again
- Dinners earlier? With everyone or on the go due to activities?
- Time for movement
- This does not have to be daily (extra points if it is), but it’s more likely to happen if it’s planned in a schedule
- Time for work/creativity
- Make the most of the time you’ve got
- Time for rest
- A reasonable bedtime so you can get a good 7-8 hours of sleep
- Periodic breaks, so you can prepare for focus and next activities
- Time for play
- This is the most important daily activity if you want to put food in its rightful place—as enjoyable fuel, not the only pleasure in your day.
- Plan for it!
Summer’s great because it’s big on movement, rest and play. There’s some ease to being able to cook outside, swim and sunbathe (with sunscreen) for long stretches of time. It’s important to replace those activities with season appropriate ones as the year goes by.
Because before you know it we’re buying pumpkins and planning what to bring to Thanksgiving. So be intentional about the transition now.
- What exercise can you do that would count as both movement and play?
- What meals can you plan ahead of time?
- Make sure there are breakfasts everyone enjoys that fit in the morning schedule.
- Afternoon snacks are even more important for hungry school kids and parents alike. Have what you need on hand.
- Get the kids involved in making their lunch, including what they would like to eat. Together, make a list of 5-8 lunches and cycle through them. It’s a time saver because you don’t have to think or argue during lunch prep. Make a lunch list for yourself while you're at it.
Taking time to plan your days is time well spent.
Being realistic about how much time it takes to plan your meals, make a shopping list, go grocery shopping and prepare the meals will protect against resentment and rush.
Enlist help if it’s not possible this week. Then use the information and your new time schedule to create what is possible.
Back to school as an opportunity for growth for both kids and grown-ups. Nice.