tips for making the most of back to school season (for parents)

Kaci Barker
August 7, 2018

 
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We were all kids once—we can sympathize when kids aren't looking forward to going back to school. This time of transition can feel difficult, and it may be a struggle to get your family back on a schedule. Here are a few ideas to make going back to school in Lynchburg, VA run smoothly and feel more enjoyable for everyone!


1. Get everyone back on a schedule before school starts. 

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One of the best parts of summer is that schedules are flexible. Kids love staying up later than normal and sleeping in during the summer. But this is part of what makes going back to school more difficult. Their bodies may not be used to going to bed earlier, so restless nights make for cranky mornings. Starting to get everyone back on track a week or more before classes start will make the transition easier for them—and for you when you’re trying to get everyone out the door on time!

 

2. Make learning something to enjoy at all times, not just during the school day.

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There are many ways to incorporate learning into everyday life and make it something fun rather than a “boring school thing.” On weekends and breaks, consider taking the kids to events at museums, libraries, and other places offering fun and interactive activities. This will instill a love of learning in your kids and hopefully make them look forward to learning at school rather than dreading going back!

Some places in our own community that periodically have awesome educational events include Vector Space, Amazement Square, Lynchburg Public Library, and Bedford Public Library.

3. Create a routine around homework.

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Homework. Dreaded homework. If not handled intentionally, homework can cause arguments, hurt feelings, and drama. But if you can create a routine around it that includes built-in incentives, it can become . . . well, routine. Part of the daily activities that the kids know has to get done, just like brushing their teeth and eating dinner.
 

You know what will work best for your family, but an example could be that when they get home they have a snack and then jump right into homework before anything else, and they can’t hang out with friends, text, or play video games before it’s done. But once it is, it’s their time to do what they wish (within reason and within the family’s rules). This can give them incentive to get their homework done as early as possible so that they can move on with their day, rather than pushing it off late into the evening. Good for their grades, and good for your sanity!

4. Find fun, easy recipes to make for lunches ahead of time.

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One of the worst parts about going back to school is having to pack lunches ahead of time. Lack of planning can lead to sugary, salty snacks thrown in a bag during the morning rush to get to the bus stop. But planning lunches doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming. Find some easy-to-make recipes that your kids will love and will only take a few minutes every week to prep for all the kids at once. It’ll save you so much time and mind space. And if your kids are older, they can even do it themselves.

Here are some suggestions:
— 13 Healthy, Easy Lunch Ideas For Kids (Delish)
Healthy Kids Lunch Recipes (EatingWell)
— 10 Sandwich-Free Lunch Ideas for Kids and Grownups Alike (Kitchn)

4. Encourage reading all year 'round.

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If you show your kids that you want them to read all year round, they are more likely to understand that you value reading for learning’s sake, not just for assignments. This will help to instill a love of reading in them, which will make required reading easier for them to get through, not to mention it’ll help them do better in school all around!


Making back to school in Lynchburg, VA easier just takes a little bit of intentionality. There will still be rough patches, and your kids still may not be happy about summer ending, but hopefully they can look forward to seeing their friends and their extracurricular activities, if nothing else! And when you’re looking for fun things to do in Lynchburg, VA on the weekends, check out our other blogs like Historical Sites in Lynchburg, VAThings to do with the Kids, and Free Activities in Lynchburg, VA!

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