Raising Richmond: Back to school!
While Raising Richmond typically consists of two sets of parents sharing their thoughts about various aspects of raising kids, Patience is flying solo on this one, offering up some tips and tricks for making back-to-school time a little less chaotic, a little less scary, and a lot more soulful.
Editor’s note: While Raising Richmond typically consists of two sets of parents sharing their thoughts about various aspects of raising kids, Patience is flying solo on this one, offering up some tips and tricks for making back-to-school time a little less chaotic, a little less scary, and a lot more soulful.
After running a kid frat house all summer, I decided it might be time to rein things in and settled into the fall goodness. While the kids are still trying to squeeze out the last juice of freedom, there are some back to school rituals that can make the transition a little easier. Here are the tried and true’s at the Salgado house.
1. Get back on a schedule.
Since we are ultra laid back, this is a big one for us. Everyone has to go back to a bedtime and routine. Practice laying out clothes if you have a morning slow poke. Make a chart complete with pictures if you have routine challenges. Start all of this at least a week before school starts — two weeks is better if possible.
2. Go together to pick out school supplies.
Let your kids be part of the process. Take your list and have kids locate the items. Let them pick the pink scissors or the rad lunchbox if they want; little choices go a long way and invite interest.
3. Get to know your teacher.
Invite your child to make a card for the new teacher. It’s even better if you make one too. Grab a gift card, take something from your garden, or make cookies to deliver at your open house day. Personal and genuine connection will start the relationship out right and make for a better collaboration.
4. Do something kind.
A few years ago, my kids and I started a really fun tradition of writing positive messages in sidewalk chalk outside the school for the first day. It was so great that last year, along with about 35 friends, we ended up chalking 17 RVA schools. Anonymous kindness is loads of fun and very adventurous. You are welcome to join us this year — there is more information here.
5. Send a little of your love along.
One year when my son was having a bit of trouble transitioning into kindergarten, I cut a small red heart out of felt for him to hold in his pocket. I told him it was to remind him that my love was with him when he needed it and we were apart. After a few weeks he gave it back to me a little tattered and worn. He said he was better and to save it for the next kid.
6. Have a party or celebrate.
Invite a few friends and their parents over one Friday in September after everyone gets settled. Show your kids that summer ending doesn’t mean the fun is over. Make school wish jars for everyone to take home. Grab some jars from recycling that kids can paint or decorate. Write your wishes for the school year and put them in the jar. Pull out the wishes throughout the year and see which have come true.
What are your back to school rituals? What makes things smoother for your family?
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