I don't know about other mums, but as a teacher, I think I probably start thinking about going back to school before the previous year even finishes! But for kids, it doesn't usually start until about now! The back-to-school advertising starts and we all begin to think of what we need to get ready for school to return. There's the stationery, the uniform, lunch boxes, school shoes ... the list can seem unending! But what about the things that will help you truly see the year through and your precious girl grow. Here's a back-to-school checklist with a twist.
While you're thinking of all your stationery needs, consider how you will use them. Use your words to bring joy to others, lift them up, and be a light in your corner of the world. You might even want to consider making some little cards or notepaper to keep in stock.
An attitude of gratitude will get you through many experiences that could easily get you down. You might be worried about school starting, how your friends will treat you, or how you'll like your new teacher for the year. Every day, think of something you can be thankful for - even if it is just that the sun is out or you are breathing! Once you start an attitude of gratitude, it will become easier and easier to find the good in your life (and in others!).
Oh, yes - where would you be without a diary! I know I can't get by without something to help me keep organised - be it with deadlines, to-do lists or activities. And you'll certainly do better at school with one! But, what would it be like, to plan into your 'schedule' ways to be kind, generous and positive to those around you? It might be a random act of kindness, or a way to give of your time or talents, or a positive activity to do with your friends.
You've heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day - it gives you energy for your day's activities, gets your brain firing and helps you to concentrate. A positive attitude from the start of the day will keep your outlook positive for the rest of the day. I well remember getting up grumpy as a child, and my mum telling me to go back to bed and get out of bed on the right side! So true - being positive from the very start will not only impact me, but everyone I come in contact with. It doesn't mean my day will always be great, but it certainly changes the way I handle it!
Every year we do this - make sure everyone has the right lunchbox for their needs, containers for snacks, water bottles ... But there's more to it than just having the right gear - as a mum, I want to make sure my kids have what they need to eat healthy while they are at school. And as kids grow up, they have more say in their food choices (maybe they even share food with their friends). Healthy food choices are a great habit to develop now - and keep up energy levels and health through the stress of a school year. Lunches should include some slow release foods like sandwiches or rice cakes, something fresh like salad or fruit and have little or no added sugar and high energy snacks like potato chips or lollies.
Almost inevitably, kids will have outgrown their uniform from the year before. Want something they won't outgrow? Develop a sense of pride in wearing a uniform neatly and smartly, respect for their school and school leaders in wearing a uniform as required, and a habit of looking after clothing with putting uniforms in the wash and hanging up when they're clean (and maybe even knowing where their shoes are each day!). While all of that is great for girls to value, it's also important that those who are special in their lives, help them to realise that it is their inner beauty that makes a difference. Encourage them to wear a smile, wear shoes that lead others in a positive way, and adorn themselves with love and joy.
Happy preparing for school to return! And all the best for a great school year!