Fredericksburg Parent

August 2012

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BY KERRY L. PINTO them staying up so I can partake in being a big kid again. Who doesn't like chasing fireflies, having squirt gun fights and making late evening runs to Carl's just because you can? I'm always bummed when it's back-to-school time and I have to forego my daily running through the sprinkler so that I'm not known as the "weird mom who runs through the sprinkler without her children." But as summer winds down and the new school year approaches, it's best to ease back into the back to school routine so that you don't wake up on the big day shoving your kids on a bus in their summertime attire of swimming trunks and swim shirts. Thankfully my kids were blessed with a responsible father so this scenario is less likely to happen. I say less likely because you are reading parenting advice from a woman who revels in the fact that my 5-year-old learned the lyrics to Heart's "Barracuda" this summer courtesy of an old school playlist on my iPod. So take everything I say with a grain of salt, but enjoy (and use!) these five important back-to-school transition tips. M this summer in the fact that they generally don't go to bed until the sun sets. But secretly, I like y kids think they're 5 Back-to-School... with Tips to Get Your Kids EASE pulling a fast one on me curbing this less than enthusiastic attitude. Plan your children's wake up time, so that they are not rushed in the morning. Give them some free time to play with siblings, toys or watch TV. Make sure kids have morning respon- sibilities so that Mom or Dad aren't stuck running around all morning look- ing for that lost sock. 2. Morning Mayhem Morning can be a time of grumpy children and grumpy adults, espe- cially if your kids were used to sleeping in this summer. Having morning routines can be helpful for To see if you'll 3. Practice Makes (Almost) Perfect to what would closely be considered a "school night." Even though it may be light outside, getting kids settled into bed and quietly reading a book will help them begin to get readjusted for the upcoming school year. Wake-up times should closely reflect the time the kids will be waking up to catch the bus or grab a ride to school, or sit down at their homeschool table. About two weeks before the big day, begin your transi- tion to your back to school schedule. Bedtimes and bed- time routines should begin to be adjusted 1. Ease on into it can slow down the process (i.e. younger siblings, a needy husband, a dog who refuses to listen.) easy, but you'll soon discover other factors that When the big day approaches (and beyond) try to do as much "school morning prep" the night before to save time in the morning. Besides, you need as much time as you can in the morning to be making that cooked-from-scratch breakfast each day, right? (Pop- tarts anyone?) Organize backpacks, lay out clothes and make lunches ahead of time so that the only thing scrambling at your household in the morning are eggs. 4. T'was the Night Before 18 Fredericksburg Parent and Family • August 2012 ready for the big day, set a goal on getting out of your house around the time your kids will be off to school. Got two elementary school kids? Try to get them dressed, fed and out the door (with lunches) by the time they would leave for school. This might sound be truly

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