So it’s that time again. Every blogger I see is posting about back to school times. I was thinking about this and planning on doing a fun lunchbox post, but the Lord has been reminding me of the reason I started PureGoodness. It’s not just a one faceted website. It is a place where we can bring all the areas of our lives together in balance to glorify God with our beings.
I usually focus on our physical health, recipes and such. These are good things, and I’m passionate about them. But I plan on being more intentional about incorporating the other valuable facets as well.
So, getting our kids ready for school we must make some preparations. Whether your child is going to kindergarten, middle school, high school or college, some preparation will ensure their year is successful. This is hard for me because this summer has been so relaxed. We haven’t had to get up in the morning for anything, and we haven’t really been scheduled at all.
Preparing Physically and Mentally:
Plan your breakfasts:
I fall into the routine of letting my kids have cereal and fruit each morning, but this year I am challenging myself to wake up earlier and fix them a healthy breakfast (realistically a few times a week). Kids need a balance of protein, whole grains and good omega oils to get their days started. Try making them a green smoothie each morning, a fresh juice, some whole grain muffins, buckwheat pancakes or local eggs and 100% whole grain or gluten free toast.
Incorporating omega oils such as chia seeds, flax seeds and other sources have been known to help children behaviourly and mentally. One study says: Supplements of omega-3 and omega-6 oils can improve the behaviour of rowdy kids and help language skills, researchers from England have found.During five months, 65 children with behavioural problems were given a daily supplement of omega-3 fish oil in combination with evening primrose oil (omega-6).
Be creative with their lunchbox:
There are so many great ideas out there, especially on pinterest, for lunchboxes. Don’t be satisfied with good ol’ PB&J everyday.. although they will have it once a week at my house . With just a little thought and changing around ingredients to make their lunchbox more interesting, your kids will enjoy new real foods without any trouble. Introduce a new veggie or fruit each week. Don’t forget a little note from time to time.
Allow time for some exercise:
Fall sports leagues, good ol’ playing outside, or a family walk are all good ways for your child to decompress from a day of using their minds. Being part of a team teaches them many valuable lessons as well. Personally, I have a hard time with teams because our kids are gone for so much of our day, that I would like them to be home with us in the evenings. But I have found that each child claiming one season is do-able for us. We would go to our son’s baseball practices and games together as a family.
Plan family dinners:
This subject flows over to the Spirit portion of this post. According to an article in TIME magazine: Studies show that the more often families eat together, the less likely kids are to smoke, drink, do drugs, get depressed, develop eating disorders and consider suicide, and the more likely they are to do well in school, delay having sex, eat their vegetables, learn big words and know which fork to use.
You don’t have to make an elaborate meal, but try doing a meatless monday, taco tuesday, or wacky wednesday. Having a set theme each week will alleviate the stress of meal planning. (which I am terrible at!)
Come up with a few questions you consistently ask your kids about their day. Allow them to share their happy and sad times while teaching them about the healthy foods they’re eating. Thank God for providing a variety of nutritious and tasty foods for us!
I have not been “called” to homeschool yet. I have many friends who have been. There have been times I laugh and say I would pay someone to homeschool my kids. The value of having them home with you all day is priceless, yet the skills it takes to educate kids academically overwhelm me. Maybe one day. Just not today.
So, last year we tried something new. We read a Bible story each morning after breakfast while they were tying their shoes and finishing their last minute things. A special time of prayer for their days followed the reading.
This year, we’d like to incorporate memorizing scripture. A simple printout for your family can be found at this website.
Prayer time for their teachers, friends, and “enemies” have helped my kids be more loving toward those who serve them and those who mistreat them.
Praying for our kids while their away is also key. The temptations they face, the emotional struggles, and the daily endurance to face circumstances can be overwhelming to them. Spend time through your day praying specifically for each child. There are groups of moms who have been known to gather for this specific purpose. Maybe something some of us should do!
I hope this encourages you as you begin this new season. None of us have it “all together”, and there are days none of the above will happen. Most of what I just wrote is a challenge to myself to prepare more, focus more, and not just “coast” through the year.
Let’s encourage one another, walk together through this time, and share more ideas below in the comments below!