Fall Brings Fresh Start for Parents, Too

With the tell-tale signs of summer all around us—ripe tomato slices on every sandwich, vacation bags in the laundry room waiting to be put away, and car air conditioners set to full blast—it hardly feels like fall even though the calendar tells us a new school year starts next week.

Heat and humidity notwithstanding, it’s always a good time to start fresh, and the start of a new school year can be inspirational for parents as well as children.  As you prepare your child’s back-to-school backpack and daily routines, think about your own fresh start—your own clean slate—and head into fall with the same hearty excitement young children have on that first day of school.

Who doesn’t love the look and feel of freshly sharpened pencils and brand new notebooks?  When organizing supplies for your child, take a few minutes to freshen your own office goods, making sure you have an updated calendar announcing breaks and school events, a clear space on your desk just waiting for school flyers and permission slips to land, ample amounts of printer paper at home (for that double-spaced, 12 pt. font research paper due today…), and all the little desk wares that keep your home humming along.  If a relaxed summer schedule opened the screen door to a little chaos in your living areas, now’s the time to whip your space back into shape and show your desk who’s boss.

Those sultry summer days are indeed good for one scholarly thing, though: summer reading.  Hopefully you took advantage of your child’s summer reading list to do some reading of your own even if it was to read Charlotte’s Web through adult eyes (which is highly recommended, by the way).  If not, make a fall reading list.  Gather up the books you’ve been meaning to read and get serious about making your way through the stack.  Don’t have any books sitting around?  Head to the library or do a quick scan of your child’s syllabus for a starting point.  Read genres of books you love to read and find titles that relate to WCDS studies.  Teachers aren’t the only ones who can tell fascinating anecdotes of medieval mischief.

And lastly, students buying school lunches aren’t the only ones who should look forward to a new menu.  As summer slips into autumn, stock your kitchen with fresh ingredients for your family’s favorite fall dishes.  Spend the last days of summer cooking ahead to fill your freezer.  If cooking is not your thing, empower your child with culinary skills to plan, prep, and serve meals on occasion.  You might find your family spending more time around the kitchen table despite a hectic after-school schedule.  Planning your breakfast and dinner, just as you plan your child’s lunch at school, can make all the difference in your fresh start to the school year.