This is the seventh in a series of back-to-school articles courtesy of Mary Queen of Angels Regional Catholic School, located at 170 Rosewood Terrace, Cheektowaga. Openings for the 2011-12 school year are still available at all levels, Pre-K3 through Grade 8 and Universal Pre-K. For more information, please visit www.mqangels.com or call 895-6280.
Back-to-school season presents a number of challenges for parents. Each morning there are breakfasts to make, lunches to pack and extracurricular schedules to track — all while trying to get to work on time. So, how do you navigate the morning chaos and hold onto your sanity? With these helpful tips, you can make your back-to-school mornings easier:
1. Stick to a strict bedtime schedule. According to the Mayo Clinic, school-age children need 10 to 11 hours of sleep each night. Making sure kids are well rested will help avoid oversleeping and wasted time getting them out of bed each morning.
2. Get prepared the night before. Pack all school bags as soon as homework is finished, and lay out school outfits prior to bedtime for the next day.This shortens the list of morning chores and adds a few extra minutes of rest. Also, don't wait until early morning to pack a rushed lunch with little nutrition value. Preparing the night beforehand enables parents to pack food with nutrients and vitamins, not just potato chips and snack packs. For even better efficiency, plan lunches a week ahead.
3. Find a quick and balanced breakfast option. Not many parents have time to prepare eggs and pancakes each morning, but there are quick, quality alternatives. Stock up on cereals that kids will enjoy and are high in fiber, folic acid, iron and vitamin C.
4. Make a weekly calendar of activities. Organize each family member's schedule to make sure kids are where they need to be at the correct times. Between extracurricular activities such as sports, clubs, study groups, jobs and friends, it can be a challenge to establish any sort of routine. Set up car pools in case some events overlap. Input alerts in your phone, and set an alarm for each to avoid temporary mental lapses.