Well… I think we did it.  We made it past the first week or two of school.  Some of us are virtual, some of us are doing homeschool, and some of us are back into classrooms figuring out all of the new systems. For so many kids, there are intense emotions that go along with the transition of heading back to school to new classrooms, masks, rules, and routines. It can be hard! 

I remember those days well, and some of the things my mom did for me that made the days just a little better.  I have created a top ten list of things to consider incorporating into the school days to make them more fun, memorable, and impactful for your sweet people. Try one or all of them out!

BEFORE SCHOOL… 

1. Get a head start on breakfast.  Some of you amazing moms out there are pancakes, bacon, and eggs type of people. I relate more to the moms who say, “grab a granola bar, and let’s roll!” My friend Angela has a weekly routine that rocks. Every morning she has a theme, which keeps her organized, and her kids excited for specific days of the week.  For example, every Monday could be Egg Bite Monday (Costo’s are fantastic and are done in 2 minutes), Wednesday Waffles, and Forget about Friday (you’re on your own) 🙂 .  Pick a few themes and make a routine.

2. Create a playlist for your car.  Jam out with your people on the way to school to get them excited and ready for the day. Maybe it’s something like… Can’t Stop the Feeling by Justin Timberlake, Raise Your Game by Newsong Church, Happy by Pharrell Williams, or Thunder by Imagine Dragons.  Let’s make it fun and create some memories! Even though we do school at home, rocking out to music to switch gears from lounging the morning away to getting work done is a great way to start the day.

3. Give them a “look in their eyes goodbye.” Take an extra second before they jump ship to look them in the eyes, smile, and let them know how much you love them!  The same is true for home or virtual school. Take time to say, “You’ve got this. It’s going to be a great day.”  It makes a difference.

 

AT SCHOOL… 

4. Surprise Notes.  Everyone loves to get a note. At the beginning of the year, grab a pad of stickies, and start writing. Just a simple “I love you! – Mom” or “You are such a cool kid!” can be a game-changer for our kids. Stick them in a lunch box or a book.  A little note from you could turn a bad day completely around. 

5. Paper Napkins.  Every once in a while, my mom would stick a fun paper napkin in my lunch. You know, one that was rainbowed, featured strawberry shortcake, or polka dots. Whatever it was, it just made lunch that much more special. They will notice the extra love 🙂 .

6. Jokes. Write down a joke and put it in their pencil case, lunch box, or hand it to them on the way out of the car. Jokes are fun, and it’s like giving your kid conversation ammo for the rest of the day. You can grab the book “Laugh Out Loud Jokes for Kids” off of amazon and have a plethora of funnies for the entire year. 

7. Volunteer.  This looks different this year, but teachers need all the help they can get.  My friend Jessica volunteered to take home projects for her kids’ teachers. I thought that was a great idea, and it’s fun for your kids to see you working on things to help out their class!

 

AFTER SCHOOL… 

8. Get snack ready.  One of the worst parts of the day for our kids is the two hours before dinner. Our kids become hungry little monsters, and it brings out the most challenging aspects of their personality. This year, I am working to be more intentional and proactive about preplanning food for this time and hoping to make it fun as well.  I’ll share with you some of my favorite afterschool snacks in the weeks to come!

9. Ask questions.  Take a second each day to think of a question or two that will give you good insight into your kiddos’ lives and hearts. What do you look forward to most about school each day? Was there anyone at school feeling down that you were able to help today? And if you are at a total loss for a question, play the “High/Low” game at dinner to learn the best and worst part of the day for each kiddo. It is something that we do regularly and is a great way to learn more about our children.

10. Tuck them into bed and pray.  Kids loved being prayed for. It doesn’t have to be long or complicated. It can be as simple as thanking Jesus for their “high” that they discussed at dinner and that they would sleep well.  One of our favorite things to pray over our kids is excitement for what God will do next in their lives. We commonly pray, “God, I know you have huge plans in store for Cole. I can’t wait to see what you will do next in his life.” 

Even though everything seems different, it’s still going to be a great school year moms, go get um! HLLF – Melissa

Melissa Cheatham

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