We know it’s not even August, but school will be here before you know it. So, some of our Honest parents have shared their tips for making the back-to-school transition a breeze.
Q. Summer routines are often a bit more relaxed. How does your family get back into the groove of more structured day-to-day life?
Honest Christopher: Continuing the routines…play, dinner, bath, books, story, and bed.
Honest Eugene: Our family keeps the kids on a routine throughout the summer, so they know when it’s breakfast time and when it’s brush-your-teeth time. It also helps us to teach them that there is a difference between Monday through Friday and Saturday and Sunday.
Honest Jessica: We stick to the same bedtime all summer at 7 pm and re-enroll Honor in her music, martial arts, and dance classes to get back in the groove of having a routine.
Honest Mira: Fortunately after spending the summer with his mom, Davis has been wanting to go back to school. During the summer we tried our best to keep our summer schedule similar to when he was in school. Of course, he watches way more TV, eats one too many Oreos, and plays all day, but we kept his naps and bed times in place.
Q. For those with children going to school for the first time, any advice for helping the kids (and parents) make the transition smoothly?
Honest Christopher: Parents should really watch their own stress and emotional levels about the departure. Kids will sense if you are upset, anxious, and worried—and completely feed off those emotions. It’s time for them to expand themselves and grow outside the home, embrace this moment the best you can (yes, I know it’s hard) and really talk openly with them about the range of experiences they’ll have—this will prepare them, help them realize you understand what they’ll go through, and give them a sense of connection to you and home.
Honest Eugene: If you go to Sunday School or to one-day-a-week classes, it helps the kids feel comfortable in a classroom setting and more easily separate from parents. We also practice at the playground saying “hi” to kids and socializing with others.
Honest Jessica: Bring tissues…The more casual you can be about dropping them off at school, the better because they sense how you feel and mirror that. Also, if you can introduce your child to at least one student who will be in his or her class before school starts, it will help them feel more comfortable to see a familiar face.
Honest Mira: Sending your kids to school for the first time is hard and can be almost painful for parents. It was for us. It’s normal to feel anxious and nervous. We tried everything to get Davis mentally prepared for school—from saying that he was a big boy now, reading books about school, to showing him the Wonder Pets episode about Ming Ming going to pre-school. What really helped was taking him to Target and letting him pick out his school supplies. The lunch box was a big one. Brian and I also took him to a photo booth and took photos with funny faces. We taped the photos inside his lunch box so he would know we were thinking about him. Ultimately, if you get through the first week or two of school, both you and your child will be fine.
Q. What healthy and eco-friendly choices can families adopt when sending their kids to school?
Honest Christopher: Healthy breakfast! We do organic goat-milk yogurt, granola, flax seeds, and berries. It’s our staple called “parfait.” We also do a ton of fresh and frozen fruit smoothies…healthy, filling, and you can bury so many things in there, like fish oils/omega 3s, probiotics, chia, and the kids don’t know it’s even in there!
Honest Eugene: On the healthy side, you can pack veggies instead of chips and other alternatives instead of processed sweets.
Honest Jessica: If you have the opportunity to evaluate the classroom’s cleaning supplies, check to make sure they’re safe and non-toxic. Avoid processed foods in your kids’ lunch and involve them in its preparation because they’ll be more inclined to eat what’s in it. A fun idea is to have them decorate their own reusable water bottle because they’ll be proud to use it.
Honest Mira: Our school has a “no waste” policy in school lunches. This meant we had to pack sippy cups and reusable utensils. I really like the stainless steel “bento” boxes so you can use the mini compartments, which helps avoid the plastic bags. We also use mini-wash cloths that are super soft that he uses as a napkin.
Honest Christopher: We LOVE the SoYoung lunchboxes!!!
Honest Eugene: Don’t forget that water in a reusable bottle is an eco-friendly option!
Honest Jessica: I love the PlanetBox with a Rover Carry Bag as a lunchbox because it’s the right portion size for little kids.
Honest Mira: I don’t have specific brands, but I like to use mostly stainless-steel items and durable glass Tupperware. “Glass-Lock” from Whole Foods is my favorite. I still have yet to find a leak-free sippy cup, but “safe-sippy” is at the top of my list.
How do you help your kids make the move back to school?