Do’s and Don’ts of Getting Ready for Back to School… Already


Do's and Don'ts of Getting Ready for Back to School... Already - Columbia SC Moms BlogI don’t know where you are on the summer spectrum, but this is us as we close in on the last four weeks of summer break:

That week we went to the beach at the beginning of June is a distant memory.

That math workbook the school district bought and sent home so we wouldn’t lose all we’d learned has gathered a bit of dust.

And that stack of unread library books has accumulated enough over due fines to buy a week’s worth of groceries.

I feel guilty and my 10-year-old feels stressed.

Well, he will feel stressed when he eventually gets out of bed. That’ll be about lunch time for me and you, but I’m okay with that. I really am. You see, I’ve got this whole plan in place to one up every single student in his fifth grade class when they all start sharing what they did over the summer.

My mom let me sleep until noon is a pretty big deal. It doesn’t happen every day at our house. Sometimes we have things to do, but if you are a stay-at-home family then start keeping a calendar right now of days you allow them to set their own bedtime and sleep in until lunch.

I’ll suggest a few other special days for all of you that work outside the home and use daycare and day camps. That was my childhood. If I’d only kept a calendar of the daycare shenanigans. It wouldn’t have mattered that our family budget never included trips to Disney World or the Grand Canyon.

“I went to the movies seventeen times!”

Never mind that it was the many years ago released $1 movie. Never you mind. Anything with a number attached to it said with confidence screams impressive.

Do you want to sound impressive? Do you want to be ready for school? Here’s how…

Don’t tally days left of summer. Do get a calendar. Tally all the things.

Set my own bed time (Fridays). Slept until (try for latest record). Had ice cream for breakfast (list all the flavor). Had frozen waffles for dinner (hashtag instagram brand name). Watched — minutes of youtube. Skipped bath — days straight.

You’re creative. They are, too. I’d love to hear what goes on your family calendar.

While you’re at it, here are a few other suggestions to get ready for school.

Don’t pinterest healthy lunch options. Do go right now and find last year’s lunch box.

Yes, open the book bag. Fumble through the stacks of papers that teacher sent home from the last two nine weeks sessions. Hold your nose with one hand while picking up the lunch tote with the other. Go straight to the trash bin and drop it. Do not even consider opening it. It’s been weeks. It’s been hot. Trust me. It’s not time for the science project just yet. You will need a new lunch carry. You will also do well to begin buying any and all BOGO individually wrapped items at the grocery. Crackers. Cookies. Chips. Breakfast bars. Juice packs. Peanut butter cups.

Don’t go clothes shopping.

Tax free weekend coming up? Forget the kids. The weather will not be changing around here any time soon. They have clothes to wear. Buy something for yourself instead.

Do make them find their shoes.

Trust me. You’ll be late that first day of school if you do not do this beforehand. Bonus points if they find a pair of closed toe ones. Extra ice cream for breakfast if they practice putting them on and wearing them for ten minutes a day. Trust me. Wearing shoes after a summer of bare feet is hard work.

Don’t try to win the reading prize at the local library.

Especially if it’s one of those raffle drawing things. You are not that lucky.

Do begin reading ten minutes a day.

You won’t believe how much you can get read in a month of ten minutes a day stints. Did she have one book the school required this summer? Read it aloud together. Still hate it? Assign a different voice to read it in each day. In our home, we’re obsessed with the election. Have you ever heard a 10-year-old read aloud in a Trump voice? Ever heard a mom mimic Hillary? Still hate reading time? Do it while wearing your shoes for the day. Resort to bribery. Offer a scoop of ice cream on that waffle tonight.

Don’t try to practice new math.

I perused that workbook the district bought for us. I wasn’t sure what some of the questions were asking. I don’t like looking dumb at home. I am fairly certain we will not be the only ones who don’t complete it. Remember, that workbook is still inside a lot of folks’ book bags, with that lunch box.

Do practice the basics.

Addition. Subtraction. Multiplication tables. Our school has a recommended math site, but google free practice math and you should find just what you need. Wonder how much practice your child needs? I find it correlates to how bored they get. As in, every time I hear an “I’m bored,” I answer with, “Go practice some math.”

That’s it. You’re going to be ready. You’re going to be so ready. You’re going to win so big at this back to school thing.

Wait. I think I just slipped into one of our reading voices…

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Melanie McGehee never knew she wanted to be a mom. Even marriage caught her somewhat by surprise, in spite of the fact that she met husband Andy through a matchmaking service. She thanked eharmony by writing about that experience for an anthology, A Cup of Comfort for Women in Love. Almost two years to the day after marrying him, she stared at two pink lines and wondered aloud, “Is this okay?” His response, “Kind of late to be asking that now.” It was a bit late – in life. But at the advanced maternal age of 35, she delivered by surprise at 35 weeks and an emergency C-section, a healthy baby boy. Ian, like Melanie, is an only child. She’s written much about him during her years with the blog, but he’s now a teenager. Please, don’t do the math. It’s true. Momming in middle age is the best! Almost two years to the day after marrying him, she stared at two pink lines and wonder aloud, “Is this okay?” His response, “Kind of late to be asking that now.” It was a bit late – in life. But at the advanced maternal age of 35, she delivered by surprise at 35 weeks and an emergency C-section, a healthy bay boy. Ian, an only child like herself, is ten years old and unlike any of the children Melanie has tutored, substitute taught, or led in a variety of church activities. Together with him, Melanie has discovered Thomas, SpongeBob, youtube tech channels, Lemony Snicket, Kate DiCamillo, shirts with no tags, and tooth powder. You can follow Melanie’s personal adventures and her love of children and teaching at beingmissmelanie.


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