Here's a post from our company president, Heidi, with her best suggestions on setting up a fun back-to-school experience.
September is here and it's back to school, that time of year when the schedule shifts back into Fall mode with all of the busyness and excitement that it brings!
For families with kids, the first week back to school is an important one for establishing the tone and routine for the semester. Over the years, I've developed a few strategies for making this first week back a great one. I'm happy to share five tips for making back-to-school as fun and stress-free as possible.
1) Plan a back-to-school breakfast: Ever since the kids started kindergarten, we've celebrated the first day of school with a back-to-school breakfast. The night before, I make special placemats for the kids with written affirmations for their year. I also make crowns that they wear during their back-to-school breakfast. My goals for the breakfast are a) to send them off on their first day well-fueled and with lots of energy for the day and b) to create a family ritual that we all looked forward to and enjoy!
2) Take first day of school photos: After the breakfast, we head outside and take back-to-school photos. The kids goof around and fake-reluctantly pose for the mandatory picture. I'm sharing a free printable download today that you can use to make the experience fun. Just print off the grade of your child, then have fun taking photos of them holding the sign. It's a great memento, imagine how much fun you both will have looking back at all the different grades and how they've grown over the years.
3) Put up a calendar for September: Our family uses iCal so we don't have a wall calendar to glance at. But for the month of September as we're getting used to the new schedule of lessons and school commitments, I print off a calendar from iCal and post it in a central location (for us, that's the kitchen). It makes it easy when someone says "What time is ballet today?" - they can check it themselves!
4) Print new chore lists for the kids: Our schedule changes every year, so in September, I use this printable chore list to help my kids get into the groove of the new routine. Our mornings include all of the usual stuff, plus caring for the guinea pig and doing music practicing. I find that after about four weeks, they have the schedule memorized and don't need to use the charts. What's the fun part of this? Once we have the routine down, we celebrate with gelato.
5) Plan a lighter social calendar: September is busy enough without having piles of evening commitments. I try to keep my meetings to a minimum to allow for time in the evening to help with homework and lunch-making. We fit in relaxing bike rides and the occasional movie to bridge the gap between summer and fall.
I hope that these ideas help you with your back-to-school transition. Please also check out the Green Gifts Guide updated for the Fall back-to-school products like journals, notebooks and other products to help stay organized.
(as seen on Thirty Handmade Days)