PREPARING YOUR CHILD FOR BACK TO SCHOOL

For many of us, the school bell is about to ring and our children will be heading back to school.  Pretty soon those lazy, carefree days of summer will be over. No more staying up late or sleeping in.  Help get your kid’s school year off to a great start by establishing a school routine.

To get them back into the swing of things, you will need to implement your plan as early as possible.  The longer you wait to get your children into the habit of going to bed at a set time, the harder time they will have getting up for school the next morning.  

You as a parent will also want to make sure that you are prepared as well.  Don’t wait until the last minute to shop for supplies and other school essentials.

Before you get overwhelmed, consider these tips for easing back into the school routine.

This post is not sponsored, but it does contain affiliate links.  Read my disclosure. 

A good day starts with a good night’s sleep  

 

Preparing Your Child for Back to School

It’s not unusual for parents to allow their children to stay up later during the summer than during the school year.  My son stays up past midnight on occasion during the summer and then of course, sleeps late the next morning.

If possible, have your child start going to bed earlier two weeks before school starts.  Explain to your children the importance of getting a good night’s sleep. Getting the proper amount of sleep will help them have the energy they need to stay awake during school. It will also help them focus on the tasks before them.  

 Preparing Your Child for Back to School

Wake up at the same time every morning    

Most experts agree children need between 9 and 11 hours of sleep each night to be at their best. Make sure that your child wakes up in time to wash, dress and have breakfast without feeling rushed.

Stock up on school supplies

Most schools will give you a specific list of supplies that will be needed, but you can make sure you have the basics on hand: pencils, paper, erasers, and for younger kids, you will need to add crayons, markers, and glue.

Preparing Your Child for Back to School

Prepare your wardrobe the night before

 By preparing your wardrobe the night before, your child won’t feel rushed or waste precious time in the morning by trying to decide on what to wear. If you’ve read my post on morning routines, you’d know I am an advocate for preparing for the next day the night before.

Arrange carpools or other transportation 

Know how your child is getting to and from school and any after-school activities.

Register for after-school activities

In order to ensure that your child gets to participate in the activities of his/her choice, remember to sign up before the deadline.

 

Preparing Your Child for Back to School

Stay on top of paperwork 

Go through any papers sent home with your child on a daily basis.  Read each piece, then decide if you should trash it, or put it in a “to do” or “to file” pile.  Mark significant dates on your family calendar.

Create a Command Center or Calendar Central 

Preparing Your Child for Back to School
Photo Credit – Pinterest

Create a centralized place or command center for all family calendars and schedules in order to avoid overscheduling. I personally use the Happy Planner as my family’s calendar.  

Choose a calendar format that works for your family. Include a family event calendar to track all after-school activities and any special school programs.  Be sure to include school lunch menus, class assignment sheets, and sports practice schedules. Post your family calendar in a place that is easily accessible to all family members.

 

We as parents want the best for our kids.  By getting your kids re-adjusted to a routine before school starts, they are more alert.  When kids are more alert, they are able to function at their best, which is our ultimate goal. Here’s to an awesome school year!

 

Do you prepare beforehand for back to school?  How do you and your kids get back into the school routine?

 

FUN SUMMER STAYCATION IDEAS FOR YOUR FAMILY

No finances for a vacation this year? Well, how about a staycation. What if I told you that you don’t have to leave your home town in order to have a relaxing and fun-filled vacation this summer.  There are plenty of things to do in your city or neighborhood.

How about doing something a little bit different this year by planning a staycation.  With a little bit of creativity, you and the family can become tourists in your own town.

A staycation will allow you to save money, sleep in your own bed, and spend quality time with your family or friends all while having fun.  

Here are some ideas to help get you started:

Find A Local Beach

Fun Summer Staycation Ideas for Your Family

You don’t have to be in the Caribbean to enjoy the beach. Visit a local beach in your area and become “beach bums” for a day.

Visit a National Park

National parks offer a variety of family friendly activities to choose from.  Most park fees are nominal, but you can also check out this page to find free entrance days.

Check your local newspaper or theater website to see what plays, musicals, concerts, or family-friendly comedy shows will be playing during your planned staycation, then book your tickets accordingly.


Visit a Nearby Amusement Park

Fun Summer Staycation Ideas for Your Family

Enjoy a fun-filled day of rides at a nearby amusement park.  Check out this list to find an amusement park in your own state or town.

Take a Virtual Museum Tour

Several museums throughout the country and the world offer “virtual” tours.  There are several that you can choose from, including the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, the Boston Children’s Museum, or even visit the Louvre in Paris.

Check out the Local Library

Most libraries have family-friendly events and activities happening every weekend.  I got my son his very first library card this summer. Check your local library’s website for details.

Visit a Local Children’s Museum

A Children’s Museum is definitely in order if you have younger kids. Most have a variety of fun and interactive activities that will keep you busy the whole day.  Check out the Association of Children’s Museums website to find one in your area.

Visit the Zoo or Aquarium

Fun Summer Staycation Ideas for Your Family

Are you an animal lover?  Why not pack up a lunch and spend the day at the zoo with the fam.  Check out the Association of Zoos & Aquariums to find a zoo or aquarium in your area, then be sure to also check what special programs your zoo have available.  

Go Bowling

Enjoy a game of bowling with your kids. If your kiddos are small, try bumper bowling.  Many bowling alleys around the country even participate in a free bowling program that allows kids to bowl free and parents to join them for just a few dollars more.


Camp in Your Own Backyard

Why not enjoy the great outdoors in your own backyard?  Set up a tent and sleeping bags, light the fire pit (or use your grill) to cook hot dogs and s’mores, and take turns telling funny or scary stories.

Fun Summer Staycation Ideas for Your Family

Go Boating

If there is a river or lake near you, chances are pretty good there is also a paddleboard or canoe rental facility nearby as well.   Both are a fun way for you to enjoy the water.

Create Your Own Art

Spend an afternoon getting creative at a nearby paint-your-own pottery facility.  Not only is it fun, you’ll have your own gorgeous dishes to take home when you’re done.


Play In the Water

This is one of my family favorites. Spend the day at a local pool or waterpark. You can also turn on the sprinklers in the backyard and have a family water day at home.

Make it a Spa Day

Enjoy a day of pampering by going to your local spa for a massage or a mani/pedi.

Fun Summer Staycation Ideas for Your Family


Play Outside

Fly a kite, take a leisurely walk, go for a bike ride, or how about a nice hike. Head to your local park (most state and national parks have a few walking, hiking, or biking trails to choose from).  Be sure to pack plenty of water and snacks for everyone.

Break Out the Board Games

A staycation is a perfect time to play all of those epic boardgames you remember from your childhood! Make your favorite family snacks and spend the afternoon playing your favorite games.

 

The goal of a staycation is to relax and decompress all while having fun.  For a lot of people (moms especially) the hardest part of trying to “relax” at home is letting go of the everyday obligations. Give up the chores for a week, and instead kick back, relax, and enjoy some quality time with your family. Doing so will allow you to create memories that you and your loved ones will cherish for a lifetime.   

Have you planned a staycation before?  What are some of the things you love to do with your family? Leave me a comment.  

Thanks for stopping by.

 

WHY YOU SHOULD FOLLOW A MORNING ROUTINE

This post is not sponsored, but it does contain affiliate links.  Read my disclosure.

Does your morning start off hectic each day? Does it seem as if you never get as much accomplished as you’d like to each day?  Do you often forget to complete specific tasks? Maybe there are days when you feel completely overwhelmed.  If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you could certainly benefit from a morning routine.

So many people feel that starting and sticking to a daily morning routine is a complicated process, but honestly that’s not the case. You actually get more accomplished, and without feeling rushed or feeling like you have forgotten something.  Better yet, your day will flow so much smoother.  

Once you develop a plan and put it into practice each day, it will soon become a habit.  The key is that you have to practice it daily.  Another important point is that you want to create a routine that works for YOU, not one that is tailored to another individual.  By creating a daily routine for yourself, and sticking to it, your level of productivity will definitely increase.

Here’s a sample of my morning routine that you can tailor to fit your specific needs.

WAKE UP EARLY

Start getting up about 30 minutes earlier than normal. I like to get up before my son, so that I have some time to myself before having to go into mommy mode. Upon waking, take a few moments to stretch your body.   A good morning stretch helps to get the blood pumping throughout your body, which in turn helps you to fully awaken so that you start to feel rejuvenated and alert.  I like to open my blinds first thing in the morning so that the natural light flows in.  I then drink a bottle of water and take my vitamins.

Why You Should Follow A Morning Routine

PRAYER/DEVOTION

Starting your day with prayer enables you to focus your attention on God and His purpose and plan for the day ahead. If you have a devotional, you can read the devotion for that particular day.   I personally like to have a cup of coffee or tea as I read my bible and devotional.

Why You Should Follow A Morning Routine

JOURNAL

After I finish my daily devotion, I spend about 10 minutes journaling.  Some days I follow a journaling prompt, but there are times when I feel a need to just let whatever it is that’s on my mind flow onto the pages.  I find that writing in my journal is very therapeutic for me.

GO OVER YOUR TO DO LIST

Take a quick glance at your tasks and the important “to-do” items on your calendar so that you are familiar with the tasks that you need to get accomplished for that day.    Make any necessary adjustments to your schedule if needed.   

Why You Should Follow A Morning Routine

EXERCISE

We all know that exercise is important to good health (see my post on Adopting A Healthier Lifestyle).  We should aim for at least 20-30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each day.  I know some people prefer to work out in the evenings which is perfectly fine.  If you’re like me and don’t have a gym membership, go for a quick walk through your neighborhood.  You can also watch an exercise DVD or even YouTube videos from the comfort of your home.  I personally love this walking video by Leslie Sansone on YouTube.

 

PREPARE BREAKFAST

Make breakfast for yourself and your family members.  Be sure to clean up as you go.  Afterwards load the dishwasher, wipe down stove top, counters and sink. If you take just a few moments each day to clean as you go, you can avoid the unnecessary clutter.  You will be amazed at how it feels to walk into a clean house (as opposed to a mess) after a busy day.  You can also prepare breakfast items the night before, and have all of your non perishable items laid out so that you are not rushing in the mornings.  It is also a good idea to prepare lunches the night before.  If your kids are old enough, you can have them help you with this task.

Why You Should Follow A Morning Routine

START YOUR DAY

It is actually a good idea to  prepare for the next day each evening.  Place all of your items that you will need for the day in a central location (purse, keys, briefcase, jacket, etc).  It’s also a great idea to lay out your wardrobe the night before.  I personally do this right down to my underwear.  I cannot tell you the number of times in years past that I have wasted precious time by standing in my closet trying to figure out what I was going to wear to work that morning.  Even though I am a SAHM now, I still lay out my wardrobe the night before. Yeah, yeah, I know it’s typically only leggings and a tee, but hey, I still lay them out at night.

Now that your morning routine is complete,  it’s time to grab those keys, and head out the door to work.  Or if you are like me, you can head to your home office if you work from home, or get busy tackling the day’s errands.  

Why You Should Follow A Daily Routine

IN CONCLUSION

When you establish a daily morning routine for you and your family, you create an environment of consistency. By establishing consistency, each person is fully aware of his/her role or responsibility.  Morning routines help enable us to lead happier, stress-free lives.  But remember that the key to a successful morning routine is sticking to it.

Do you have a morning routine in place? What are some of the things that you and your family members do to get your day off to a great start? Leave me a comment.

Thanks for stopping by.  

 

10 INEXPENSIVE WEEKLY SELF-CARE IDEAS

Self-care is important to both our mental and physical health.  But because we lead such busy lives, we often neglect taking the time to actually care for ourselves.  I for one, know that I have been guilty of this.  

We often feel that because we have so many activities on our plate – work, school, church,  kids, after school activities and the list goes on and on, that we are unable to actually fit “me time” into our schedules.

I have reached a point in my life as to where I am making myself a priority.  I take a couple of hours each week to do something that I enjoy.  

There are simple things that you can do to add a little self-care to your week.  Here is a list of my favorites:

1. Take a relaxing bath.  Light some candles, and add a half cup of your favorite bath salts, then immerse yourself into a warm bath.

2. Read a good book. Curl up on the couch or in your favorite chair and enjoy that book that you’ve been wanting to read for some time now.

3. Enjoy a glass of wine. Pop open that cork and pour yourself a glass of vino.

4. Listen to your favorite tunes. Put on your favorite tunes, turn it up, and shake your boo-tay.

5. Visit a coffee shop. If you are a coffee lover like myself, you can go to your local coffee shop and order up your favorite cup of coffee or tea.  While you’re there, treat yourself to a pastry as well.

6. Manicure/Pedicure. Give yourself a Mani/Pedi.  Your feet will definitely thank you.

7. Take a walk.  Put on your tennis shoes and go for a leisurely walk through your neighborhood.  Inhale the fresh air.

8. Binge out on your favorite tv shows. This is one of my favorites!  I love to spend hours in front of the tv catching up on my favorite shows.

9. Light up a candle. Can you say aromatherapy? Enjoy a scented candle.

10. Go to bed early (or on time). This is one that I am working on.  I am often up until the wee hours of the morning because I get more done after my hubby and the kid are in bed.  I have come to realize that my health is more important, so I have been going to bed much earlier than in the past – well most of the time.

10 Inexpensive Self Care Ideas

You should take some time to incorporate weekly self-care activities into your schedule.  It’s easy to spend our time caring for others while neglecting self.  But as the saying goes – you can’t pour from an empty cup.  So remember that self-care is not a luxury, it’s actually a necessity.  

How do you spend your “me time?” Leave me a comment.  

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Sonia