4 Tips for Getting Your Kids Excited about Going Back to School

back-to-school

Let’s face it. Even if kids are complaining about being bored during the summer, there is a good chance they are dreading going back to school. Even if they have the best teacher or if their best friend is in their class, kids still balk at the thought of going to bed earlier, getting up earlier, and sitting in school for hours. Parents find that taking kids clothes shopping and back-to-school supply shopping isn’t enough to get them excited about returning to school. So, what can you do? Here are a few tips for getting your kids excited about going back to school from guest blogger Joyce Wilson at TeacherSpark.org.

  1. Plan something memorable for their first day back

You can counter the anxiety that comes with the first day of school by planning something extra special for when your child comes home. You don’t have to go to any great lengths or expense, but you can plan something fun to commemorate the day and start a new family tradition for the start of school. Maybe you take your children for ice cream after dinner. Perhaps you greet them with a small family party, complete with balloons and streamers and cake. Some parents invite the class to an after-school swim party if the weather is warm. To make it even more exciting for your child, tell her you have a plan for something special to take place after school but don’t let her in on the secret so you can surprise her. She will look forward to the plan all day.

  1. Involve your children in back-to-school organization

Some kids get more excited about school when they feel as though they have some control over the situation. By involving them in back-to-school organization, you give your kids some power over the decisions that are made and give them the opportunity to take some ownership of their education. For example, you may allow your older children to rearrange their closets to accommodate their new clothing. Perhaps you give them the freedom to design a clothes organizer so they can lay out their clothing for the school week on Sunday night.

One other way to get your kids involved in back-to-school organization is to ask them to help design and create a family command center, lunch-packing station, or homework station. They can think about what they need to have in the home to help them better prepare for the school day and then get busy creating it with you. They may build the homework station, paint the stand for the command center, or clear out a spot in the pantry for school lunch supplies. Older kids may design the center and build it. It can be a whole-family affair.

  1. Discuss and choose extracurricular activities

While kids may not look forward to getting back to reading and math, they may look forward to the start of school because it brings about opportunities for sports, music, or other after-school activities. Older children have more choices, so it’s important to sit down with them and decide which extra-curricular activities they would like to participate in and which materials they need to have in order to do so. Younger children may get excited about an after-school program or study club with their friends. Encourage your kids to look at the whole picture of resuming school and help them find something they can look forward to besides getting back in the classroom.

  1. Plan a family trip to commemorate the first month of school

You can look beyond the first day of school to excite your kids about getting back in the classroom. For example, some families plan a small family trip to commemorate completing the first month of school. Take a weekend and visit a theme park or amusement park, attend the family activities at your Alma mater’s homecoming weekend, or visit a historical site that your kids are learning about in school. The possibilities are endless, and you can get your kids even more excited by including them in making the decision about where to go for the celebration. Just keep in mind that if you don’t choose a pet-friendly destination, you will need a dog walker or a pet sitter to care for your four-legged family members while you are gone.

Your kids may not be thrilled about going back to school, but you certainly can help get them excited in some fun and creative ways. Showing your kids that you are eager for them to get back in the classroom and enjoy school will help them feel less anxious and look forward to resuming their education.

Joyce Wilson is a retired teacher with decades of experience. Today, she is a proud Grandmom and mentor to teachers in her local public school system. She and a fellow retired teacher created TeacherSpark.org to share creative ideas and practical resources for the classroom.

Tips for Hockey – Guest Blog

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I am bored this morning so I am going to make a blog about hockey.  It might take awhile because I am having trouble finding the letters on the keyboard. Okay, let’s get started.

1. Stop screening your goalie.

2. Wherever the puck goes, you go.

3. Watch out for Blyth-Brussels.  Once they beat us 7 to 1.

Oh no, I am afraid I have to cut it short.  I have to go to church byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye.

nate

By Nathan Pelss, age seven

I’m Not Getting It!

cereal not getting it

The other morning I had an epiphany.  I know that my children can do more for themselves and I want  them to do more for themselves.  It would actually be very helpful if they could do more for themselves. However, I seem to  get suckered in and end up doing things for them.

I know that my children can do certain tasks for themselves so why am I still doing things for them?

I think it is partly because I can’t stand listening to the whining, and partly because it is just easier for me to do it.  I recently had a conversation with a wise mom  who said if her kids ask for her help, she asks if they can do it themselves.  If the answer is yes, then she does not help them.  It only makes sense.

My seven-year old son was sitting at the computer the other morning watching mindless videos as I was scurrying about helping everyone get ready for the day.  He asked me to get him a bowl of cereal.  I was just about to reach for the bowl, when I realized how ridiculous the situation was.  I was frazzled because I was running around the kitchen doing things for family members who were completely competent and capable of doing these things  for themselves. I created this tiny human who now has a sense of entitlement like a little prince who was demanding me to serve him his breakfast while he loafed around.   So I stopped.  I put the bowl back in the cupboard and I said,

“I’m not getting it!”

He grumbled something without taking his eyes off the computer and I repeated myself (because it felt empowering and I am not sure he took me seriously the first time),

“I’m not getting it!”

 “You can do it!”

Once he realized I was serious, he went to the cupboard and got a bowl and then poured his cereal and milk for himself.  Voila.

Now, I was getting it!  This is how you encourage children’s independence.  You stop doing things for them.  It wasn’t until I finally said, “I’m not getting it!” that I was truly “getting it“. Are you getting it? (wink)

  • Stop doing things for your children that they can do themselves.
  • Teach them how to do things a couple of times and then expect them to do it themselves once they have mastered the task.
  • Don’t get “suckered in” by their whining and complaining and begging.  If they can do it, let them do it themselves.  Be consistent and don’t give in.
  • Have older children help younger siblings.
  • Enjoy your new-found freedom to do the things that YOU need to do.

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How Does She Do It?

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Do you ever look at other mothers and wonder, “How Does She Do It”?

I wonder all the time. 

To the mother who is working out at the local gym, or going for a jog, I wonder how you find the energy, self-discipline, and motivation to continue.  I whisper aloud, “You go girl!” when I see you trying to be the best you can be.

To the stay-at-home-mom who is at home caring for her children or home-schooling her children, I wonder how you find the patience to be with your children 24/7.  Your dedication to your children and the time you spend with them is admirable.

To the mother who is grieving the loss of her child, I wonder how you cope, how you continue, and how you walk through life missing a part of your soul every day.  I cannot imagine, and I do not understand.

To the mother who has a child with special needs, or a child with intense behaviour issues, I wonder how you deal with the cards you were dealt.  I wonder if you get the breaks you so need and deserve and I wonder if someone is there to help you.  I wonder how you care for your child each day knowing it is tougher than most.

To the brand new mother trying to survive on minimal sleep while figuring out the cues from a tiny human, it amazes me.  I wonder how she does it and then remember I did it too.  I wonder how I did it.

To the mother working full-time or going to school to reach her personal goals, I wonder how you do it.  How do you come home at the end of the day exhausted and weary to give all that you have left to your children and your studies?

To the mother of five or more children, I wonder “How on earth do you do it?”  I know what it is like to parent my children, but I wonder how any mother can care for any more.  I know your hands are full.  I wonder how she can parent even one more child.

To all the mothers looking at other mothers and wondering, “How does she do it?” I can tell you this:  She is looking back at you and wondering the same thing

That stay-at-home mom who home schools her children is wondering how the mother of three young children works two jobs and comes home to care for her children.  The mother of two is wondering how the mother of three does it and the mother of three is wondering how the mother of four does it. We are all “doing it”.  We are moms.  We give of ourselves every day because we love our children.  We figure out what works best for our family and we just do it.  We care for our children at home, we work to provide for our children, we strive to better ourselves for our children, and we get up each day because our children and our families need us.  We are fueled by the love for our children and our lives are built around their needs.   “How Does She Do It?”  She does it out of love.