As we close off summer this Labor Day and fall into the back to school grind getting back to routine can be a little challenging. Here are some things that can be helpful to you and your family.
Get up 15 to 30 minutes earlier. While it may be a little painful to rip yourself from your bed covers, getting up 15 to 30 minutes earlier will allow you flexibility in the morning. Notice I said, “get up” not wake up and hit snooze for 30 minute. Getting up early will also make your commute less stressful; remember that most students are back to school so your train/bus ride will be a bit more crowded. If you have kids, this will be help them arrive to class on time especially if they will be attending a scanning school (a school with metal detectors). They will need to give themselves some time to go through the school safety process in entering the school building. Also, please be aware of what is and isn’t allowed in the school building, it may sound silly that certain things are not allowed but it is for school safety reasons. Therefore, follow the rules and if you feel strongly opposed to any policy get involved with the school in order to address it.
Prepare your outfit the night before. Sounds elementary but it does save you time. If you are unsure of what to wear get two outfits ready. Same thing for your kids, have them pick an outfit the night before, especially for the first day of school. It will save you time and will likely avoid the frustration of dealing with a tearful kid who claims “they” will laugh (who are “they” you wonder, the answer to that will probably be “everybody”). Make sure your bookbags are prepared the night before, nobody wants to look for notebooks or missing homeworks first thing in the morning.
One more note on your kid’s outfit, please know the dress code of your son’s/daughter’s school. If the school requires a uniform, great! but if the school does not have a uniform they will likely have a dress code. For the girls belly shirts and low cut blouses are likely not acceptable. For the boys, they should wear a belts to keep their underwear from showing. And please make sure your kids do not wear the jeans that seem to have been ripped into holes by a pack of wild dogs on their way to school. While the freedom to express themselves through fashion is important, there is a time and a place for everything and a school is an educational institution, let’s make sure they dress for success.
Make 5 Minute Breakfasts. My doctor told me that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, she told me this after informing me that I was malnourished which was a bit embarrassing considering my child was in perfectly good health. So why wasn’t I eating? Because I had no time. I started preparing breakfast on the go, such as breakfast burritos. Other ideas include making pancakes or french toast the night before and just warming them up in the morning, fruits, and smoothies. For more ideas on quick and healthy breakfasts do not under estimate the power of the google search. Planning meals ahead of time for breakfast as well as dinner will save you some time that can be vested into other things like resting or homework help.
Take time to exhale. You got up early, went through a busy day at work and for the most part a painless commute don’t just get home and do it all over again. Make sure to take some time to unwind, chat with your kids about their day and share about yours. The purpose of having a routine is not to suck the life out of you but to give you some flexibility in life. You only get one life to live, make the most of everyday.
Have a great fall back to school! Below you will find some resources as you prepare to start another school year this September 6.
Back to School: What You Need to Know from the Office of the Bronx Borough President
2012-2013 School Year Calendar NYC Department of Education
Student Bill of Rights (Discipline Code)