The Literacy Clinic

How to Beat The “Back-To-School” Blues


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How to Beat The "Back-To-School" Blues

Here we are once again, getting the kids ready for yet another school year.  As I sat outside looking at the trees that surround our property the other day, I noticed glimpses of yellow and orange already tingeing the leaves on our maples, an early reminder of what’s coming.  To confirm this, I let out a series of loud, wet sneezes, a definite trademark reminder of the season-my allergies were kicking in. Exit summer, enter autumn.

If you’re like me, it’s likely that you are beginning to get the kids back into “school mode”. I’ve been pretty slack on bed-time enforcement, and sleeping-in has become customary in our home. But alas, all good things must come to an end. This week we actually set our alarm clocks -Yikes!

My daughter and son begin school on September 2nd, and so part of my job as Mom is to get these two psyched for a brand new school year. This is not an easy feat where kids are concerned, but there are a few simple steps a family can take to make getting back to school as painless as possible. Easing back into the daily routine will be that much smoother with a little advanced preparation and organization.

The first thing I did this week was to re-instate the “chore chart” on the fridge (DOWNLOAD Chore Chart). I sheepishly admit to being a little slack in this department, too. I’m home with the kids all summer (I’m a teacher), and as a result, I tend to do many of the chores myself rather than watch both of them get into a heated argument about who empties which rack in the dishwasher.

Next, I create the weekly “breakfast” menu (DOWNLOAD Sample Menu). This is a list of quick and easy to make morning meals that my kids choose from the night before. This eliminates wasting time in the morning as each of them stare into the great refrigerator “abyss”, trying to decide what to eat.

Bath and showers happen the night prior, outfits are carefully selected before we go to bed (I have a teenage daughter, so I’ll say no more), and bedtime routines are slowly re-established so that nobody goes into shock-mode the night before the first day of school begins.

Of course, where would I be if I didn’t end this piece by reminding parents to make reading a part of your child’s daily routine: Be sure to get bedtime book-reading rituals back into full swing. This may be easy for some kids and a little more challenging for others who are not so keen on books. My son, for example, needs a significant amount of coaxing to settle in with a book before lights out. Not so with my daughter:  an avid reader who’ll read just about anything from “War and Peace” (her current novel) to the instructions on the back of a shampoo bottle!

Good luck to all you families out there.  Have a great school year.  It’ll be over before you know it!