It’s still feeling like the dog days of summer as we hit the middle of August, but a quick stop in any store will let you know fall is approaching! And along with the red and yellow leaves, crisp and crunchy apples, and taunts of pumpkin spice lattes comes another merchandise reminder—back to school shopping!
As you’re preparing for school this year with long lists of things to buy, here are a few ideas to make this your best year ever—whether your kids will go down the street or down the hall to school!
#1. You know that old advice about getting ready the night before? Heed it!
There’s just something calming and reassuring about being prepared. You and your children will both enjoy more fuss-free mornings if you’ve thought through the day the night before, instead of hitting the ground panicked with only a vague idea of what needs to happen next.
Sit down with your kids before school starts, and talk about what stresses them out about school days and what might help. Do they need to set out their clothes the night before? Should you create a meal plan so everyone knows what’s for lunch? Would workboxes be a great addition to your homeschool? Do they forget their jacket at home … every day? A bit of thought about the familiar glitches and a little addition of elbow grease can help everyone head into learning time with a smile.
#2. Give yourself some grace, especially in the first few weeks.
Change is hard on everyone, children and adult alike. And even if you’re looking forward to a bit more organization to your schedule, expect that change to cause some ruffled feathers.
If you’re schooling at home, consider beginning with a limited schedule—maybe just cover one or two subjects. Let your children get a feel for their new books and maybe have a hand in deciding when they’ll approach what.
If you have to get children out the door and on their way, allow some extra time! Waking up early is tough on summer sleepers, and eating breakfast and combing hair, finding shoes and backpacks, packing lunches and getting in the car are all challenging. Finding new classrooms can take extra time. Plan for it! And know your children may feel nervous as they approach new teachers and classmates.
If you give yourself and your children extra time and extra grace for the extra pressure this season can bring, you’ll all be better off.
#3. Don’t forget to cover your family in prayer!
You won’t see it on the back to school supply lists, but praying parents are an irreplaceable necessity for every child! Pray for their hearts to be open to learn new things, and for their minds to be attuned and receptive to all God wants them to learn. Pray for them to have favor with their teachers. Pray that they will choose friends wisely. Pray that you will be patient as you move into this season, and that they will continue to grow in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Pray for anything and everything God brings to mind!
May joy and peace and wisdom and grace attend all of us as we head into a new school year!