Today is one of the best days of the year…THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL! Although I have thoroughly enjoyed spending time with my boys this summer, I am ever so grateful for the wonderful teachers and staff who will educate my children seven hours a day for the next 9.5 months. Yeah, Teachers!
But with all the shopping for school supplies, getting fit for new shoes and haircuts, I will say I am a little anxious of what the new school year will hold.
Will the boys have good teachers?
What friends will they have?
Will they be leaders and not followers?
Will they make high honor roll?
After a bit of worry and anxiousness, I remembered a quote by Mark Batterson, “Work like it all depends on you and pray like it all depends on God.” And that is all I can do as a parent—train them to be the best little people they can be and pray they grow up being God-fearing, responsible, purpose-driven men. Until then, it is me and my husband’s responsibility to ensure we do everything in our power for them grow up to be and do just that!
So, in our quest to have another successful school year, here’s four things we are doing (and you can do too) to make it a great one!
Be an involved parent
As parents, we are our children’s number one advocate. It is our responsibility (not just the school) to ensure our child excels academically. From helping them with homework, to quizzing them before their spelling test to staying up late with them to finish up projects and meeting with teachers to ensure they are on the right track. Do not just leave it up to the teacher to ensure their success. As parents, it is our job to ensure they have every opportunity to excel in school.
Balance school with extracurricular activities
Statistics prove that students who are involved in sports or other activities are more well-rounded and tend to have a higher attendance rates and even better grades than those who do not participate in after-school activities. Being married to a football coach and playing sports myself, I understand the importance of activities, but in our quest to ensure our children are active and “well rounded”, sometimes we can overdo it. From piano, to gymnastics and swimming all in one week, it’s a wonder our kids can even study or complete homework. At the end of the day, we have to ensure our kids get the proper rest while still balancing all of the activities “WE” put them in. Remember, it’s not about us, it’s about them! Balance is key!
Eat Dinner as a Family
With all the football, basketball, swimming and other activities our children are involved in (for us, one sport/activity per season works well with our family dynamics), it can be difficult to eat together as a family. According to an article posted by University of Florida, “having dinner together as a family at least four times a week has positive effects on child development and has been linked to a lower risk of obesity, substance abuse, eating disorders, and an increased chance of graduating from high school.” With varied schedules, it may be difficult to eat together four times a week, but at least carve out a day or two to sit, talk and discuss school, friends, family goals and even world events over a good meal. This not only helps with communication, but it creates long-lasting memories.
Pray for them
With all that is going on in the world, sometimes it is hard not to constantly worry about the well-being of our children. What gives me peace, however, is knowing that someone bigger, who loves them more than I do, is watching over them! So when I realize I am worrying about them, I try to make it a habit to replace the worry with prayer (kuddos to Joyce Myers!). So, with the start of a new school year, I pray that:
- God will order their steps (Psalms 119:133)
- God will give them wisdom and understanding (Proverbs 4:6-7)
- They will know who they are and be leaders (Jeremiah 1:5)
- And God will protect them (Psalms 91)
I cannot be everywhere or do everything for them. Sometimes, I just have to do what my parents did for me and “take it to the Lord in prayer”; therefore, pray for your children, be involved in their academic, let them have fun outside of school, and carve out some time to eat together as a family throughout the week. This year will go by super fast, why not create some memories along the way!
Happy first day of school (or soon to be first day)! I pray every child has a successful academic year and that God will protect and cover all of our children (and teachers) throughout the year.