4th Grade Frenzy: August 2017
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August 12, 2017

The Last Week of Summer

There's one thing I NEVER do the last week of summer....and that is...go into school!

I make it a habit to have my classroom ready or nearly ready before the last week of summer...well you know...Are we ever really 100% ready? There's always something else we could do.

I save the last week for me! Some of the things I do are organizational so that the first few weeks of school go smoother. Some of the things I do are just plain fun!

Here are some things I do the last week of summer.....

1. Stock Up

I stock up on just about everything. You know how it goes. You are getting ready for school or should I say trying to get ready for school when your little one spills,  your other kid drops his toothbrush in the toilet, and you have used the last of the conditioner (even the adding water to the bottle and swishing it around to get the last bit part). You're now running late, and you have to be at 2 soccer games and a meeting after school. You have no time to stop to pick up household items on your way home! But if you stock up the last week of summer, you will breathe a sigh of relief knowing that you have everything you need in the back of the cabinet.

Here are some things I like to stock up on:

Makeup and Toiletries

Keep them hidden if you can. That way they won't mysteriously disappear. Your teenagers may find that extra body wash and start using it well before the one currently in the bathroom is used up.

Paper Products

Hide the paper towels. Significant others take lots of these. I have no idea what they use them for, but somehow they have a way of making them disappear. No need to hide anything else. You are the only one who knows how to change the toilet paper anyway.

Cleaning Supplies

No need to hide any of these. If someone in your family decides to use the cleaning products, consider yourself lucky.

Poster Board

And if any of your own kids are in middle school....poster board. Yep, stock up on poster board. Even in this digital world, the night will come when your middle school child declares at 10:00 p.m. that he/she needs poster board for a project that is due tomorrow.  Take my word on this. If you have a middle schooler, buy poster board.

2. Get the Clothes Ready

You probably already did the back-to-school clothes shopping thing, but maybe the clothes are still in bags. It's time to get them out, cut off the tags, iron if necessary,  and prepare every outfit for yourself and your own kids for the first week of school. 

Why? Because after that first PD day, you will come home with a headache as you wonder to yourself who thought up these new procedures, how on earth are you ever going to get it all done, and when are they going to fix the laminator? On their first day of school, your own kids will hand you a stack of forms to fill out and tell you that they will get a prize if they are returned tomorrow. You will be glad that you do not have to worry about clothes. They are in the closet already lined up for the next day. Do this for yourself and your kids.

3. Prepare and Freeze Some Meals

Honestly, I don't go overboard here but do a little of this to save your sanity.

4. Have Fun!

This is my view from my kayak. My county Parks and Rec runs a program where you can rent a kayak or canoe for $5 an hour, life jackets included. It is incredibly relaxing, not to mention cheap. My kids usually come with me and rent their own kayak. Sometimes we pack a picnic lunch and hang out for a while in the adjacent park. Our tax dollars at work!

Start a tradition with your kids or even for yourself. Our tradition is a day down the shore, just me and the kids. (Jersey girl here!) We throw a football around, read, walk, chat, and ride the waves. Yep, I'm the oldest one in the ocean on a boogie board! I think I scare the living daylights out of my kids by doing this!

We also do the boardwalk. The Jersey boardwalk is full of shops, games, rides, and places to eat...

Did I mention that on tradition day, there are NO rules about what to eat? That's right! The kids are allowed to eat whatever they want, whenever they want all day! Of course, if one or more of your kiddos have dietary needs, you will need to modify this rule to make it work for you. We eat pretty healthy on a regular basis, so this one day is a fun treat! And really...it's just one day out of the year. Your kids will wonder if you have lost your mind upon hearing this one-day rule, but will not question your judgment. My older kids still love this idea, and I actually look forward to this day of pizza, ice cream, cotton candy, and fries!

Those are just two of my fun days. The idea is to do something that you enjoy for fun!

5. Watch To Sir, With Love (or your own favorite teacher movie)

I watched To Sir, With Love before going back to school for nearly all my teaching years. It's an oldie but a goodie starring Sidney Poitier. You will laugh, you will cry, and most likely be reminded of just why you became a teacher. 

So, as you get ready to go back to school, I want to wish you all the best! May you have understanding administrators, cooperative colleagues, delightful children, and days full of learning and discovery. 

And as the butterflies turn in your stomach as they do each and every year on that first day of school, just remember this.....Summer will be back! 

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