How to start this school year strong

Aug 09 2019

How to start this school year strong

“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”
L.M. Montgomery

I love returning to school. Now don’t get me wrong, I appreciate vacation as much as anyone, and I certainly enjoyed the time our family spent together this summer. There’s nothing like having the time to read a good book, go for a hike, or just be in each other’s company, and as children often describe their summer, “It was too short.”

That being said, there is something rejuvenating and almost magical about starting over once a year. The mistakes we made last year are in our rear view mirror, and the road ahead is filled with possibility. Students may choose to pursue an entirely new interest academically or in their extracurricular pursuits; they may decide that they want a completely different look. “This is the year I’m going to rock the Science Fair.” “I’m tired of having long hair, I want to cut it all off and try something new.”

As opposed to other areas in life where we may feel caught in a routine or stuck in a rut, the end of summer and the commencement of school provides us with a chance to begin again. So, how do we maximize this opportunity? I’d like to share some tips from a post, “30 Back to School Tips to Keep You Organized All Year Long.” Some of these tips feature product placements and I don’t necessarily endorse them. However, there are some good organizational tips that can make mornings less chaotic and prevent the all-too-typical “Where did I put…” as everyone is madly rushing out the door.

For example, what about having a bag in the car that has some school supplies or a charger so if someone forget to charge the phone the evening before or has one more math problem to solve, they can do it on the way to school? Creating a family calendar may prevent moments like the time a friend arrived late for a Saturday morning first grade soccer match, looked back and forth at the game and his second grade son, and groaned, “wrong kid!” If your high school student needs her morning joe, you might want to create a coffee cart that also includes granola bars or fruit so she can grab something on the way out the door. Having more school supplies at home would have helped ease the anxiety in our house when one of our sons bellowed at 9:30 p.m. before a project was due, “We’re out of printer paper.” 

Whether or not you find the tips in this piece helpful, what’s important is that we create the conditions for our children to be successful the first day of school and every day thereafter.  Last year, the entire Keystone faculty and staff read and discussed Charles Duhigg’s bestseller “The Power of Habit,” where he describes the ways we can discard bad habits and develop beneficial ones.  Establishing a routine or series of habits at the beginning of the school year enables our children to make the transition successfully from the languid days of June, July, and August to the sometimes all too frenetic pace of school.  Ultimately, whatever you create must work for your family and you.

In the meantime, I look forward to seeing your children and you next week. I wish you a relaxing final weekend of summer and a great return to school. See you at Drop Off!

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