Back to School! And All The Feelings & How To Ease In

Here in Quebec, our kids have been in school for a full week already, but I know the rest of Canada goes back after Labour Day. Either way, Back To School, or La Rentrée, as it's called here, is full of emotions! This year Chloé starts Kindergarten at the same school as Lily and Oli! At last, all three Morrice kids are at the same school! Cue heavenly choirs singing HALLELUJAH!

With the school season upon us, here are a few ways we deal with all the feelings and changes.

Get In Routine!

All summer long our kids stayed up crazy late (sometimes 11pm!) and slept in. Slow mornings were the norm and meal times were all over the place too. It's fun to have dedicated time of doing nothing and to intentionally let go of routine for a while, but it's time to rein it in! If possible, a few days before school starts, shift bedtimes back to usual and get your kid's back into some sort of schedule. I had zero luck trying to get my kids to fall asleep earlier (even if I put them in their room they just laid in their beds wide awake for hours), but once I started waking them up early, things shifted a bit. Oli stays up the latest and rarely wakes before 8am in the summer, so instead of tip toeing around him in the mornings, we turned on the kitchen lights and spoke at regular volume once the girls were awake around 7am, then shifted to 6:30am. Combining the shorter days (it's getting dark at 8pm now!) with early wake times has helped my kids get to sleep sooner. Make sure you're feeding them supper early enough too. In the summer, 6:30pm suppers were the norm, if not later, but that meant there was no way they could be to sleep before 9pm.

Here's a look at our school routine if you're curious:

5:30 - Mom's alarm off, slowly wake up, tea, Bible, Instagram, e-mails
6:30 - Kids wake up, Bible time, talk about our dreams, chat about our upcoming day, slowly wake up
7:00 - Breakfast - my kids are always hungry first thing in the morning (and so am I!)
7:15/30 - Get dressed, pack backpacks
7:45 - Lunches go in lunch boxes, brush teeth, then free time
8:10 - Leave for school. Lily and Oli start at 8:20am whereas the kindergartens start later, at 8:45

Gift Your Teacher!

One thing I've found help my kids get excited for the upcoming year and ease any worries about their new teachers is buying a small gift for their teachers during the first week. This is the craziest week for any teacher, so they'll really appreciate it! I've done gift cards to local cafes most years, but this year I was cruising by the David's Tea clearance section and found three Scandinavian white tea mugs for a great price, so that's what our teachers received. My kids love giving gifts and it fosters an appreciation for their teacher before they've even met her.

Get Excited About Lunch!

Packing lunches is THE WORST part of having my kids in school. Once I started making lunches at dinner time things started to shift and it wasn't as burdensome. I find while I'm making or cleaning up from supper it's the easiest time since I'm already in the kitchen with food out, and they often take leftovers anyway. Also for the first few weeks of school I go all out. tasty baked goods in lunches every day, their favourite cold cuts, and gasp, store bought granola bars, haha! I let them choose the menu and as long as the foods groups are represented, I'm pretty flexible as we're getting going in a new school year. Expense and time don't permit this freedom year round, but it's a fun way to start the year!

Talk talk talk and Pray pray pray!

So long as it's in a positive light way, I think it's never too early to talk to your child about the upcoming school year. Don't wait until the night before to bring it up! I ask my kids often throughout the summer, especially in August, how they're feeling about school. Are they nervous? Are they excited? What are they worried about? What are they looking forward to? Who do they hope will be in their class or their teacher? Pray for them and with them. Praying with my kids not only lets me demonstrate my faith but helps the kids grow in their faith too. When my kids are feeling anxious and I offer to pray for them I notice such a change in their demeanor right away. It calms them, reminds them that God is in control and that he goes with them to school. We pray a lot about the school year as it's approaching and usually pray together on the short walk to school every morning.

Happy Back to School! Bonne Rentrée!

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