Whew, can you believe that its almost the end of July? Honestly, I can’t. I’m sitting here asking myself, “Where has my summer gone?” Any-who, I hope that you have had a great summer. What did you do? Did you go to any backyard picnics, summer jazz festivals, or beaches? What about hiking in the canyon, going to see Toy Story 3, Karate Kid or Air Bender? Did you get to sleep in til 9am and lounge around the house? Wait, don’t tell me that you were one of the lucky ones who went on a trip out of town, because if so, I am completely jealous (smile). Truthfully, I hope that whatever you did you spent some quality time with your child and laughed harder than you have in a l-oooong time.With August quickly approaching I know that many schools are starting soon, so I wanted to give you three quick tips to help your child make the transition from summer lounging to doing school projects with ease.
1. Establish a bedtime routine: I know that summers aren’t for bedtimes, but a successful school year depends on it. Trust me on this one. This is the time to start holding fast to your bed time routine. If you don’t have one, you can use this simple six step routine: 1.dinner, 2.bath, 3.brush teeth, 4.to-do list, 5.storytime and 6.prayers. Steps 1, 2, 3, 5 & 6 are pretty self-explanatory but step 4 is often overlooked. Start by asking your child what do they need to do tomorrow, and what they didn’t finish today. This is a marvelous practice that I use. It lets me release the past and the future so that I can sleep peacefully and completely let go of any anxieties and worries.
For younger kids, the to-do list might be something as innocent as, “I have to play with legos” or “Watch my favorite movie. Older kids might want to call a friend to hang out, or go to the movies. This simple yet powerful practice teaches your child how to have control over their day by managing it the day before. Also, when kids go back to school they will have had plenty of rest and transition time so that they are fully present.
2. Drop the Sugar: Start reducing your child’s sugar intake. It’s something about the summer that we jus’ allow sugar to seep right on into our diets. To tell you tha truth, I just cant help it! Shoot. I can’t even begin to tell you how many sundae’s I have had. (Shh! It’s a secret!) Because of this, begin to ensure that your child eats totally clean as they approach the first day of school. Eliminating the sugar will help ensure that there is a chemical balance in their brains, emotions, sleep patterns and thinking abilities. As a teacher, this is my secret weapon for coming back refreshed, rejuvenated and revived.
3. Write, Write, Write: I aint talkin’ bout no lil journal entry. I’m talkin’ bout real and serious writing. If your child is on the younger end give them a story starter. Write, and have them write two solid paragraphs. If your child is older and entering fourth grade, ask them to write a persuasive essay on a provocative topic.
Two weeks of this will instantly reduce the side effects that summer lag has on most kids in the first 3 weeks of the school year. Continued practice in these three steps will prove success for you and your child. Let me know how this works, or what you are doing to prepare your child for the upcoming school year.
Want more tips on making the school year run smoothly? Get 45 information-packed minutes of Melissa, Queenie and Patrick giving their best tools and techniques for free. Click here to listen.