Thursday, September 01, 2011

New Beginnings

A fresh start.  A clean slate.  A blank canvas.  That is what a new school year offers.  A new beginning. I have come to believe that the start of a new school year is all about establishing routine and forming patterns of habit.  Maybe it can be looked upon as preparing the mindset for success.

My children are in First Grade this year.  It will be their first experience of being in school for a whole, entire day.  So that puts ‘back to school’ in a new and fresh perspective for me.  Essentially, what am I able to do as a parent to help my kids navigate this new beginning in their life?  How can I be a model for them to fill their blank canvas with things like motivation, accountability, and a happy effort?

At our home, the goal is to set simple, matter-of-fact expectations for my daughter and son.  Go to bed at a reasonable time.  Select clothes the night before.  Place backpacks by the door.  Choose and pack a snack/lunch prior to going to bed.  Talk a bit about what will be in store for the upcoming day; something they are looking forward to or perhaps something that is causing them unease.

I have found that this preparation allows mornings to be less stressful and the transition to school easier.  Not to mention that it instills a sense of personal responsibility as they begin to develop healthy, productive patterns of habit.

I would like to hear from Parents.  What works for you and your family?  What habits have you co-created with your children that pave the way for success to take place in school?  And if you are an educator, please chime in, too!  What stories do you have to share!

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