When I was in school, come November, the novelty of my new school supplies, backpack, and friendships began to wane as I prepared for tests and report cards, looking forward to every break that allowed me to sleep in just a little bit longer. Sometimes, we forget our kids feel this same way. I call it the “Mid” Itch. They’re smack in the middle of the school semester – just waiting for the next big thing.
How do we help our kids focus on school and the “right now?”
Keep your routine. When the cool weather sets in, it is so easy to fall into comfort mode, but make sure you keep your routine. Don’t allow your kids to skip too many practices – or study time at home. If your child isn’t bringing home as many assignments, try incorporating something they’re learning in class at home. Create a fun experiment together. Find ways to teach at home in fun, non-traditional ways.
Plan away – but live in the present. While it’s exciting to plan and discuss who’ll be visiting for Thanksgiving this year, where the turkey dinner will be served, and what items need to be added to the list for Santa, it’s also important to remain present in what is happening now. Enjoy the weather and play some football, visit a corn maze, take a hay ride, or jump in some of those leaves before the piles are raked up. If you’re looking for away-from-home activities, check out a local fair, or go camping!
Cut down on screen time. This means cell phones, iPads, televisions, and all things electronic. The intense concentration our kids reserve for watching cartoons or videos, or playing games for extended periods, can be spent more productively. To be successful in school, children need intentional focus. Find activities for them at home that require active participation. This can be a big helper for school!
Local mom Michele Erdman has found that getting things done immediately after school helps her girls stay engaged and on top of their schooling.
“I ask every day when they get home what they did and what they learned,” Erdman said. “We have a rule that homework is done immediately after school before anything else.”
Here’s to a happy, enjoyable upcoming holiday for all of us – and to getting over the “Mid” Itch.
Marlena Rice is a busy mom and writer who lives in Tuscaloosa with her husband, Rod, and their son, Beaux William. Check out her blog at heartfullybuilt.com.