Retail & wholesale advertising suggests the new school year kickoff is just days away with limited time remaining to make those last minute purchases of backpacks, binders, pens, pencils and all the various fresh new supplies. I know as child I loved the look and smell of those neatly arranged colorful crayons in my very own Crayola box. A new first day of school outfit always got my children excited for their first day on which they woke early and dressed without nagging, slipped their well stocked heavy backpacks on without complaint and traipsed happily off to the school bus in their spanking new sneakers.

By the end of the first week, enthusiasm began to diminish exponentially in the weeks that followed. The alarm rang too early, the backpacks were too heavy, the lunches “sucked” and the bus ride made them nauseous.

I believe one root to the declining attitude is routine, what kids often refer to as BORING.  7 AM alarm, bus, school, home, snack, homework, dinner, showers, bed. All to begin again the next day. So what can we parents and educators do as partners to keep the enthusiasm alive?While every day cannot be the first with all the fresh new supplies and the excitement of new teachers, we can try to help prevent the boredom associated with routine.


Here are my 5 tips to happy school days.

  1. Set Goals. Ask your children to set 3 goals for themselves (one academic, one social and one athletic) to be achieved in the first quarter of the year (approx. 10 weeks). Mark the date of the end of the first quarter on your calendar, so they can see the end in site. These goals need to be realistic but challenging. While working toward straight A’s may be unrealistic, improving grades from the previous year in just one subject may be quite doable. Just as joining a social club may not fit every personality, finding one new friend may be just right for another. And while everyone is not athletically gifted, everyone can add one form of physical exercise to their daily activities. Think about these goals with your children and how each one might be achieved. Have them write these goals down, seal them in an envelope and tape the envelope to the inside of the their binders as a reminder. At the end of the quarter open that envelope. See how well they did and set new goals for the next quarter.
  2. Refresh supplies & save work.
    Every week or two, clean out those backpacks stuffed with loose papers, gum wrappers and broken pencils. Discard the unnecessary clutter. Replace those once beautiful crayons with a fresh box and those pencil stubs with new ones. Give your child a fresh clean folder to save favorite work and a special place to keep it.
  3. Change up the morning routine. At home try breakfast in bed, or special breakfast 4ibogkpbtday, a surprise sleep in a bit longer day and drive the kids to school. At school plan special days: pajama day, dress as book character day, inside out day, riddle days with solutions revealed at lunchtime.
  4. Change up the after school routine. Think about after school special treats: ice cream, bowling, skating, library visit, movies, etc. Make it a surprise or something to look forward to. Whatever will keep your child excited.
  5. Reward! Discuss what’s being done to help achieve those goals. Reward even the smallest steps forward. Reminder: There is nothing children want more than to please their parents and to be loved unconditionally. Recognize the challenge of achieving their goals and show them your pride in their efforts.

Top 5 New Year’s Resolutions to Build Family Success



The New Year begins with a blank slate on which we  can set new goals and challenges to make the coming year even better than the last. As a family coach and learning specialist I always think about building family relations and student success.With the onset of free time granted by Winter School Break take advantage, set up new spaces, organize materials, and challenge yourselves to something new.


  1. Purchase a new monthly family calendar and hang it where it is most visible to all, probably in the kitchen. Record everyone’s activities, academic20calendarappointments and special events. Use a different color for each family member, and attach the colorful pens to the calendar.
  2. Set up individual work spaces for students, a place where they can keep their homework tool box and be assured it won’t be disturbed.pykebero
  3. Set at least one night per week as family dinner night. Mark it on the calendar to avoid conflicts. This is a time to share. Need some topics to discuss? Try giving each person a chance to share their peeks and valleys of the week. Have everyone bring a news event they want to share with the family or a new book they’ve read.32487331
  4. Create family chores that can be rotated from week to week. Need some suggestions?  Dinner set-up and clean-up, plant care, pet care, trash and recycle cans to street and returned.
  5. Challenge yourselves intellectually, physically, spiritually, academically. Reach out, try something new.  speed-skier-descends-mountain-great-53234132This success is measured by your effort to try, not by mastery. Read something new, learn to bake, sew, knit, skateboard, ride a two wheeler, swim, attend a meditation seminar or yoga retreat. The options are bound only by your willingness to explore.

My best to all my readers

for a safe, healthy, happy and successful New Year.