Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Back to School Tip #1

For many of us it is getting close to that time again. Time for the kids to go back to school. If you are like me you are looking forward to it as much as you dread it. We've had a great summer, watching movies late at night, sleeping in, swimming at the pool, hanging out with friends, visiting the library and just taking it easy in general. I love the time with my kids and I love the relaxed schedule.

We have a couple of last weeks here, but I know many schools are starting up within the next week or so. In honor of that, and as a reminder to myself, I'm going to put up a few posts to help us get ready for another successful school year.

Healthy AM & PM Routines
Starting the Day--Getting your children ready to learn means placing an emphasis on nourishment, morning hygiene, and even skin safety.

1. Eat a healthy breakfast--breakfast sets the stage for your children to meet their true potential by giving them the nourishment and energy they need to succeed. (healthy breakfast ideas coming later in the week)

2. Brush their teeth

3. Apply sun screen--your child is likely spending time outdoors during the school day. Protect them while you can.

Getting Adequate Sleep
Your children have likely gotten spoiled over the summer (I know mine have!) by getting the chance to stay up late, but the days of early morning awakenings are coming. Some ideas to help ensure your children get enough sleep each night include:

1. Establish (and keep) a set bed time. Children need anywhere from 9-11 hours of sleep nightly in order to be at their best.

2. Start turning electronics and lights down about an hour before bedtime. Exciting video games, TV shows, or loud music do not set the stage for falling asleep easily. (We like to play a game as a family, then read our scriptures and have family prayer before they head up to brush their teeth. They have time to wind down from the day and we get to spend good quality time with our children.) Soft music can prepare your little ones (and big ones) for sleep, and playing music at a set time establishes a nightly ritual that can be enjoyable, even comforting, for the entire family.

3. Don't wait--one week before school starts, have the children start going to bed early as if they were attending school in the morning. Letting your children stay up late until the day before school makes it unlikely they'll be rested for the first few days of school. (Even though we don't start until the 25th, we are already starting to work back into our routine.)

4. Be a good role model--if you're staying up late, grumbling in the morning trying to wake, and complaining of being tired all the time, what kind of message does that send to your children? Go to bed at a set time each night to ensure you will get at least 7 hours of sleep. (This is another good reason to get your children in bed earlier in the evening. Once they are asleep you can enjoy some down time, visit with your spouse, and prepare for a good nights sleep. I've really missed this over the summer. Once I get in bed by 10 or 10:30 again I will be able to wake at 6 for my morning run! Yay! Soon...)

(from the Harris Teeter your wellness Back to School)

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