The smell of new crayons and the price tag that comes with it. Labeling every single folder, binder and box. First day of school outfits. Checklists. Meet the Teacher Night for your entire brood. Football, soccer and tennis practice. Back to school ice cream socials. Breaking summertime curfew and bedtime habits. Nervous little tummies full of butterflies.
Looking for back to school words of wisdom to handle the exciting, fresh and wonderful but rushed, expensive and sometimes chaotic upcoming month?
The school buses are back and in hopes of helping you get your kids off to a great, new school year and keeping your head on as straight as possible in the midst of the hustle and bustle, the OHW community has shared their words of wisdom, tips, stories and experiences for the September back to school chaos. If you have tips to share, join the conversation on our facebook page.
Also, be sure to check out our Back to School Motivation Special: In September, sign up for a Weight Loss Program and receive your first month of nutrition counseling and personal training Free. Also, all our supplements, protein shakes and other products are 20% off.
Words of Wisdom from a Busy Mom of Elementary and Middle Schoolers On How to Start the Year Off Well
- I think being present as much as possible is the key to a great start to the year. I intentionally make sure we eat breakfast together, I’m home after school to hear how the day went and we are all home for dinner together as often as possible.
- We have found that helping our kids establish good study habits begins on the first day of school. Making sure they know what is expected of them and they make time to complete their work.
- We also try to always speak positively about school. Even when it’s hard we can be thankful we can go to school and that we have so many resources available to us.
Words of Wisdom from a Working Mom of Two Middle School Athletes
- First of all we have a calendar in the kitchen (it is everyones calendar) that we put all the practices, appointments, chores for the day, games, tournaments, school project due dates and anything and everything you can think of on the calendar— that way we ALL know where everyone is or should be.
- We also make sure we have healthy snacks on hand so my kids eat before activities. I prioritize getting to the store and keeping the kitchen stocked with healthy options. And when we are cramped for time in the morning there are quick, healthy food options available (such as natural protein bars/ drinks for my daughter to take lifting so she has something to rebuild those muscle fibers before going to class / fresh fruit and hard boiled eggs for my son to eat in the morning with a cereal bar or quick oatmeal).
- We try to plan ahead for meals so we are not running around at 8 pm after games and practices…. I have learned I am not a bad mother if I serve cold sandwiches, fresh veggies and fresh fruit for dinner every once in awhile and that this option is often even faster than fast food.
- My last piece of advice is picking and choosing your battles…. I used to make my kids make their beds before they could even eat breakfast and would check their rooms every couple of days and have them clean it up before or after school…. as they got more involved in sports and our schedules have became CRAZY I have learned that closing the door and letting the bed go every now and again is necessary and sometimes cleaning can wait until the weekend.
Words of Wisdom from an Honest Preschool Teacher
Some advice from a teacher’s stand point is: DO NOT LINGER. I feel the longer the parents try to stick around to help their child, will only make the morning drop-offs harder. The child needs to rip off the band aide and head on out there. The children will find ways to make friends if they don’t know any and it gives the teacher an opportunity to get to know them as well. Kids that know their parents are close by or watching hold back instead of diving right in.
Words of Wisdom from a Working Mom of Teenagers with Tips for Young Children and Teenagers
Before I had children I thought I would never, ever, feed my kids in the car. That went out the window as soon as I realized little children do not get hungry on “my schedule”, and that taking them back and forth from day-care or preschool to home seemed to be awfully “hungry” times for them at times. I learned to plan ahead and carry snacks for them. Initially in little containers that only released a small amount of crackers or cereal at a time. As they grew a little bit, I would put them in small re-sealable plastic bags. I only put a few tidbits of snacks for them, so that they would not be hungry, yet they also did not fill-up so much that they would not eat dinner later. I also kept their sippy cups in the refrigerator at work, with water, so that they had cold water to sip with their snack. Yes, my car was messy and needed constant vacuuming, but it kept the kids from crying (or screaming) out of hunger on the way home.
Now that my children are teenagers and come and go on their own (or on the school bus) I no longer have much control over when they eat or what they eat. But I still have control of what’s in the house, and they do eat at home most of the time. I keep my fridge stocked with fresh vegetables AND I wash and cut them so that they are “ready to go”. Both of my children like to eat salads, but I found out a while ago that they would not eat them when hungry unless they were “easy” to fix. So I spoil them by washing produce and cutting it up, then putting different veggies in individual containers in the fridge, and I move those to the front of the fridge (so that they are quite visible when they open it). Now I hear them fixing themselves salads and putting whichever vegetables they like on their own custom-made salads. I am also not too much of a “health-freak”. I know they like cheese, so there is grated cheese available for their salad, and oftentimes I also cook bacon and crumble it, so that they can add bacon bits if they wish. Once a week I also bake chicken breasts and cut them into bite-sized pieces, and that is also something they can add to their salad. All in all, I try to make fresh vegetables and yummy salads the “easy choice” for them.
Something else that helps me tremendously is that my husband installed a small TV in the kitchen. I like to watch TV, but don’t really have the time to sit and watch anything. By having a TV in the kitchen I find that it is easier for me to spend a lot of time preparing vegetables and dishes ahead of time, as I can watch a show while I do it, or listen to the weather. The “entertainment” keeps me from thinking of ALL the other things I also need to be doing, instead of cutting up vegetables. Now I enjoy the time as I go the extra mile. And I know what many moms must be thinking “your kids are old enough to cut up vegetables”. And they ARE, but I pick my battles, right now they do not have the motivation to do it, and if it is between me doing it, or they eating fresh veggies, I’d rather do it. Of course, my husband and I benefit too, we pack our lunch in no time each morning since we have a lot of food clean and prepped.
Words of Wisdom from a Young Mom and Math Teacher
Moms are feeling their kids getting restless and ready for school, similar to how I notice students behaving towards the end of the school year!
- Make a list and add to it throughout the year of the things you (the mom) and your kids would like to do over the next summer. I find myself often saying “oh that would be fun to do!” about some activity or event but I know how busy life gets and I might miss doing something if I don’t make “the list”. I always feel better after summer is over to look back and know we took full advantage of summery activities when we could! I would even say that would be a good idea to do for the last couple weeks of summer to fit in some things that just haven’t been done yet and put them on the calendar. It’s also a great idea to make sure family time happens because when school starts everything is busier!
- It is much easier for me to deal with any amount of tension if I sleep well and exercise. Sleep I can’t always control (she has two tiny ones under the age of three) but exercise is something I’m not willing to give up. I definitely have had to re-define what I would call a “good work-out” for my life right now, and I even feel good if I just push the boys in the jogging stroller for 3 miles! We’ll stop at the park on the way home so it’s a fun outing for them too.
- For a ‘hands-free’ recipe that is a really fun summer/fall dinner is to get subway sandwiches (you can order a pretty healthy meal and fairly cheap) and go to a beach for a picnic.
Motivation from a Teacher to Encourage Your Kids to Stay Active All Year Round, Not Just in the Summer
“My fifth graders did a physical fitness test one day in November. The test was pretty standard and shouldn’t have been too difficult for students that were active and played outside daily. As I walked out of the gym and into the hallway with them, one student threw up. Hearing that sound made another student throw up. Five students from my class threw up in a chain reaction as they stood in line in the middle of the hallway!”
Practical Tip from a Mom with College Kids
Scented oils help me stay calm and relaxed even when my life is stressful and busy. Here is a video she sent on how the oils helped improve tension at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville.