The end of summer is a somewhat bittersweet bridge to cross. Summer is recharging, and always brings a lot of fun and amazing memories. However, without fail, about a week after the 4th of July, we all begin to crave the routine that the school-year brings. We hesitate to admit it out loud, but we eagerly await the back to school prep, and first day of school excitement.
We have found that it works best to ease into the seasonal transition from life without a schedule, to life with a rigid routine. Many parents can attest to the importance of a back to school prep plan, and here today to share on her brilliant school-year prep process is Tracy of Lavender and Lifting.
Enjoy Tracy’s tips below, and please be sure to leave your top tips in the comments section!! We are always on the lookout for new ideas and suggestions.
Do you remember the TV show Ally McBeal?? The main character, Ally, had a “theme song” that paralleled the events of each episode. It was clever, and one of my favorites to watch while attending grad school! Fast forward about 15 years, I am teaching my Kindergarten kiddos and come every June 1st, the same “theme song” repeats in my head. It’s an oldie, but goodie: “School’s Out For Summer,” by Alice Cooper.
I love summer, especially since having my own kids. We eat dinner after our San Diego sunsets, stay up late to watch movies, sleep in, and don’t get out of our jammies until we make it down to the beach. I come out of my dream-like state when I see August 1st on my iPhone and my back to school anxiety starts in – food prep, alarm clocks, homework, oh my!!!
Now is the time I start easing my way back into the school year routines and you can do it too!!! Slow and steady wins the race, right?? I start the process on a Sunday and I like to give myself two weeks to get the family back on track.
To get the ball rolling, I return to Sunday morning food prep. I roast a big batch of sweet potatoes, then zucchini and cherry tomatoes for lunchtime salads and dinner side dishes. Next, I cook a dozen “muffin pan” ham and egg cups for easy breakfasts. I prep a meatloaf to cook later in the week and I get a large pot roast in the crock pot for dinner that night, which will give me leftovers too. In the afternoon, I grill a boat-load of chicken breasts.
Next up is dinnertime. I start pushing it back about 15 minutes everyday until we are eating by 6:30. Having dinner earlier lays the foundation for an earlier bath time for Pierce, and shower time for Parker, as well as bedtime. Since I am trying to adjust the inner clocks of my boys, I have an all-natural insider tip for you. I lather Pierce’s feet, chest and shoulders in Young Living’s Lavender Essential Oil and put Lavender EO in his bedroom diffuser to help calm and relax his senses for bedtime.
Once Parker has showered and is in his jammies, I bring out Young Living’s Peace and Calming Essential Oil Blend, a mix of Orange, Tangerine, Patchouli, Ylang-Ylang and Blue Tansy. It smells wonderful and Parker calls it his “dream potion”!!! I rub on his feet, shoulders and the back of his neck. I also put the blend in Parker’s bedroom diffuser to promote relaxation and a good night’s sleep. Visit my website Lavender and Lifting to purchase these bedtime must-haves.
My bedtime goal for Pierce is 7:45. Once he is asleep, I can work with Parker, my kiddo who needs to go back to school. We start our bedtime routine by laying out his clothes for the next day, and picking out two books to read before lights out. This is also the perfect opportunity for us to talk about going back to school. Last year, we talked about: how he was going to get to school, who would pick him up at the end of the day, what did he want to eat for breakfast/snack/lunch, who could come over for playdates, after school classes, soccer practice, what he wants to learn this year, and what he already knows.
I also make it a point to remind him of his morning jobs before school. I have the checklist ready for the first morning we start our back to school routines:
- Eat breakfast
- Clean undies on
- Clothes on
- Shoes on
- Brush hair and teeth
- TV time (the reward for getting his jobs completed)
I have 6 items on the list, since he is 6 years old. I have found this works best for his maturity level and task completion to earn his reward.
Since we are up and moving earlier every morning, we pack up the stroller and take our Pug Girl for a quick walk to Starbucks. As we get closer to the first day of school, we will do a few practice “runs” to Parker’s classroom by adding a game to it; counting the steps, counting how many pugs we see, beat the clock, skip a block/walk a block, etc.
The first day of school is an exciting day for me and Parker… we have new friends to make, new things to learn and a new “theme song” to start our day: “We’re Going to be Friends,” by The White Stripes or Jack Johnson 😉
P.S. The cute chalkboard “First Day of 1st Grade” sign is a free download at inkhappi.com
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://paleoparents.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Paleo-parents.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Tracy Polivka Adamson is a wife, mom of two boys (Parker, 6 and Pierce, 15 months), Kindergarten teacher and CrossFit junkie. After a missing a box jump landing, she found relief and recovery thanks to natural, homeopathic and essential oil remedies. Tracy is passionate about sharing the benefits of Young Living Essential Oils and Supplements. You can find products and her blogging on Lavender and Lifting, plus dishing out quick “oily” tips on Facebook and Instagram.[/author_info] [/author]