Since my kids are in a year-round school, we’ve had some practice getting back to school this summer.  I’ve thought of the top 3 steps to help your family get back to school with ease.  For many families, Labor Day is the precursor for the beginning of the school year.  Alas summer is coming to a close and the busy fall season is upon all of us.

But going back to school and getting into those school time habits can be easy as 1-2-3:

1.  Set a daily schedule that works.  When your child returns home from school, what are the tasks that must be accomplished?  What activities happen on what nights?  Map it all out and as a family, talk about your weekly schedule.  Children work well with concrete, communicated schedules.

Is your schedule too tight?  Too unstructured?  Does an activity need to be added or subtracted?  Is there something that involves physical activity?  What about spiritual activities like church if that is important to you?

Here’s an example of what our Monday looks like:

3:30  Come home from school, snack

3:45  Go to piano lessons.  Get homework done during your sibling’s lesson.

5:45  Dinner

6:30  Finish homework and reading time

7:00  Playing time

7:30  Get ready for bed

8:00  Lights out

Tuesdays and Thursdays, we go to martial arts.

All of us. 

(That will be a blog post soon).

And Wednesdays, we love going to church.  This is the busiest we have been on weeknights because we added martial arts to the mix to get more physical activity in.  But so far, so good!

2.  Insist on daily reading time.  Part of the daily homework from school is 20 minutes of reading time.  Set a timer and make this happen every day.  Get books from the library that interest your kids so you can foster their love for reading.  The stats are clear on why reading is critical to your child’s success:

  • Students who don’t read proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to leave school without a diploma compared to proficient readers (The Annie E. Casey Foundation).
  • Two thirds of eighth graders do not read at the “proficient” level (NAEP Reading_2009).
  • In 2008, California reported that only one-third of students who graduated from California public schools were prepared to go to a 4-year college (The Center for Future of Teaching and Learning).

And remember to grab your book and read alongside your children.  Parents are key reading role models.  High frequency reading parents are six times more likely to have high frequency reading kids (2008 Kids & Family Reading Report).

3.  Pray for your student regularly.  The best investment in your child’s education is made on your knees.  When you pray for your son or daughter, God listens and answers.  I have been incredibly blessed to be a part of a Moms in Prayer group.  When the school year is in session, we meet once a week to pray for about one hour.  I meet with about 4 other moms to pray for our kids.  We have kids in different schools, but we meet at church to pray for one another’s kids and schools.  Other groups are based around the school – a group of moms from the same school who meet in a home to pray regularly.

You can visit the Moms in Prayer website to see if there is a prayer group already for your school or a prayer group at a church near where you live.  I highly recommend it!

Plan, read, and pray…

Enjoy the back to school experience!

What are some of your steps that have helped you get back to school?


Arlene Pellicane

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