Wow! Where has the summer gone? Prior to my mommy years, I always thought I would look forward to my children returning to school. However, here I sit — one week before school is to start — feeling sad, anxious, nervous and downright icky… as I have for the last five years right before school begins. I love our relaxed summer routine.
This “unhurried” theme seems to be calling me this year. My mother posted on Facebook a blog from Huffington Post (“The day I Stopped Saying Hurry Up”) and Yoga Journal’s Daily Insight spoke about the hurried life of children. Just try Googling “Unhurried Child.” You’ll be amazed at what you find. (And if you come across a book called The Hurried Child: Growing Up Too Fast Too Soon by David Elkind, it’s wonderful.)
And so… I vow this school year will be different — relaxed and unhurried! But how are we going to accomplish such a huge goal in our “hurried” and “multitasking” world? I searched my “mommy tool box” and was quite surprised how many of these strategies I teach in my yoga classes and trainings. Taking what we learn in class into our daily lives — this can help us in our search for balance between pushing and yielding. We learn more, grow more and enjoy more when we “let go and be.”
ESTABLISH A FUN ROUTINE
- Wake up yourself and your child with music rather than the loud, jolting buzz of an alarm clock.
- Open the windows and blinds to greet the sun with a smile. The whisper of fresh air is an affirmation of what the day will hold for you.
- Practice a slow, soothing and smooth sun salutation — or simply stretch together. Open up all your muscles and joints to fresh blood, oxygen and a positive mindset.
- Develop a daily homework routine. Know your child. Is it better for him/her to do homework directly after school or later in the evening? Or perhaps you have a bright morning child who studies best before school. There is no wrong or right time — just the perfect learning time for your child.
- Have a clear and neat calendar, listing homework as well as after-school activities. Your calendar can use pictures, colors and/or words. Remember to keep it fun and engaging!
- The homework place needs to be as quiet and uncluttered as possible, and should have all the items required for work (pens, pencils, highlighter, books) within reach.
- Add movement to homework time.
- Perform Downward Facing Dog while practicing spelling words. (Lifting the feet to “sky write” the words.)
- Balance in Eagle Pose while practicing vocabulary.
- Reduce sensory input with your kids and give your children a chance to un-charge. Do a few relaxing YogaKids poses with your kids, such as Child’s Pose and Take 5 Breath. Get more Bedtime Breeze tips here.
- Snuggle Story Time: No matter the age of your child, reading a bedtime story from a book that’s slightly more difficult than the child’s reading level can help the child learn new vocabulary and generate ideas. And it’s a wonderful connecting time for both of you.
One of the most important lessons to learn is to say “no” to outside obligations that disrupt these routines. From the time your child is born till he/she leaves for college, you only get 936 weeks. How do you want to spend them?