It’s time to get back in gear for another school year. I want to offer some encouragement and support for both you and your kids as you face these first few days of getting back in the swing of things. Along with the excitement of a new school year comes the anxiety of what the year will hold. Recognizing your kids may have a few start-of-school-jitters, consider the following.
Pray with your kids. Take a moment before you start the first day of school to ask the Lord to bless the coming year. Seek God’s peace, wisdom and strength as the kids engage in new friendships and experience new classes and teachers. We want our kids to recognize they can pray about anything, and praying together on the first day of school helps them learn by example as well as calms their spirits. Continue this as a routine throughout the year.
Celebrate the Beginning of School. Make the beginning of school a happy and exciting time by celebrating the first day or first week. Bake the kid’s favorite treat and serve it up after they have finished their first day of classes. Allow them to talk about their day. Ask them if they made any new friends. Encourage them to tell you about their teachers, their classes and even the school lunches or playground. Let your kids catch your excitement about school and the potential for growth, both in knowledge and relationships.
Create a Fun Homework Environment. Designate a certain spot that will serve as the homework or school work area. Make it fun and inviting with all the supplies your kids may need (paper, pens, pencils, sharpeners, etc..). Talk about schedules and how you all will handle the schoolwork routine in the afternoon. This is a good time to think through television and computer times, and establish some boundaries in these areas. You may also want to designate a delightful and cozy reading nook area in your house where kids can go to have some comfy and quiet time to relax and read. A big cozy chair, a bath tub with pillows or a window seat can all make a special place for reading.
Guard the Calendar. Each new school year offers new opportunities to fill the calendar. Prayerfully consider both yours and your kid’s involvement. Put a limit on the amount of after-school activities for each child and choose wisely which activities are best suited for each of your kids. Don’t do everything, do the right things. Just because everyone else is doing certain activities or sports, doesn’t mean your family must do them too. Lean toward volunteering for activities which utilize your gifts and talents. Take one year at a time and realize you don’t have to sign up for everything this year.
Proverbs reminds us, “Trust in the Lord with all your hearts and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” These are good words for us to keep in forefront of our minds as we lead and encourage our kids for another year of school. Most importantly remember that God is your refuge and your strength, a very present help in time of need. Help the kids to hope in Him, by continually sharing verses like this with your kids.
May God bless the new school year for you and your family!