8 Ways To Make School Mornings Easier

Family Eating Lunch TogetherThe back to school rush is here again, which makes for hectic mornings. Most of us have a routine, but some are still pulling up to the school as the bell rings. Eight O’Clock Coffee has been making mornings better for over 150 years, and they have compiled eight tips for stress-free mornings to plan your schedule around the oh-s0-important morning cup of coffee!

1. Make It At Home

Forget stopping for your morning coffee – that takes a lot of time and money. Prep your coffee pot the night before, so all you have to do when you wake up is flip the switch. Your coffee will brew as you get everyone ready and out the door.

2. Buy A Travel Mug

Invest in a great travel mug to take your freshly brewed coffee to go. Make sure it fits in your car’s cup holder.

3. Keep a Family Calendar

Include everyone’s schedules on it right next to the coffeemaker. You can glance at it in the morning and know what’s in store for the day.

4. Plan Ahead

Pack lunches and plan outfits the night before to avoid morning confusion.

5. Grab-And-Go

Keep grab-and-go breakfast foods, like granola bars and bananas, on hand.

6. Don’t Be Rushed

Give yourself a time cushion for unexpected delays (don’t wake up at the last minute!).

7. Keep The Coffee

Instead of dumping leftover coffee, store it in the fridge before you walk out the door. An iced coffee can serve as a nice afternoon pick-me-up.

8. K-Cups

To make mornings even easier, that smooth, rich taste of Eight O’Clock Coffee will be available in Keurig K-Cups this fall.

With these great tips, you can savor those last moments of summer and enjoy a smooth transition back to the daily grind.

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About the Author

Eight O’Clock Coffee, “America’s Original Gourmet Coffee,” has been delighting coffee lovers with smooth, rich-tasting coffee since 1859 – and remains the country’s #1 retail whole bean coffee today. Eight O’Clock Coffee is also available in ground form and in Keurig® K-Cup® Packs. Eight O’Clock Coffee brings over 150 years of expertise to their full line of gourmet coffee varieties, including their top-rated 100% Colombian, and can be found at most U.S. retailers where groceries are sold. Eight O’Clock Coffee is headquartered in Montvale, NJ and is roasted and packed in Landover, MD. For more information about Eight O’Clock Coffee, go to www.EightOClock.com, www.Facebook.com/EightOClockCoffee or @8oclockcoffee.

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Back To School Preparation Tip List

Back-to-SchoolHave you started getting ready for back to school? It’s not too soon!

Your children will be returning back to school before you know it. Summer vacation will be ending sooner than you think! For most in my area, school starts the day after Labor Day. It can be a hectic time if you are not prepared. Will you be ready?

Here are some helpful tips to help you prepare for back to school:

Review the kids’ wardrobes and have them try on their clothes

Have a fashion show! Make sure to do this before you go shopping for new clothes so you know exactly what you need. Donate or pass down clothing to another child. If you do need new clothing, pay attention to sales to save money.

Complete necessary medical forms in time for the return to school

You might need to schedule an appointment with your pediatrician for shots and signatures so allow enough time to do so. If food allergies are a concern, contact you child’s teacher to discuss necessary precautions.

Finalize arrangements for after-school care

This may involve transportation, payment arrangements and scheduling of pick-up. Be sure the provider knows who is permitted to pick up your child at the end of the day.

Purchase an alarm clock

This is a great tool for those children who have more difficulty getting up. Choose one that gets progressively louder or put one on the opposite side of the room to get them out of bed to shut it off.

Pack lunches the night before to save time in the morning

Plan out lunches a week at a time and have a sturdy lunch box or bag for each child. Purchase fruit snacks and granola bars, for example, in bulk to make sure they are always on hand.

Use a family calendar

This is helpful to keep up with the kids’ busy schedules. Indicate half days and school holidays for the year. Keep track of extra curricular activities. Check the calendar each evening to be sure you are prepared for the following day.

Organize your paperwork

The paper starts coming through the door the first day, so be prepared. Create an “in” and “out” bin for processing. Use a bulletin board for important information, such as extra curricular activity schedules, important appointments and contact information.

Start adjusting their bedtime

Gradually move the kids’ bedtime up by about 15 minutes each night so they will be well adjusted when it’s time for school to start. You want to be sure they get plenty of sleep.

Set up a homework station

Create one that provides enough space, good lighting and supplies that are needed. Your child will be more productive when they have a designated place to do their homework.

Enjoy

Finally, enjoy the rest of the lazy days of summer with the kids. This is the time to spend doing things you all enjoy before the hectic school season begins. Start planning now so you will be prepared for “Back To School.”

Written by: Audrey Cupo, Professional Organizer

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About the Author

Audrey Cupo is a professional organizer and the sole proprietor of A BETTER SPACE based in Jamison, PA. She has been providing this service since 2004. She specializes in residential organizing and works with busy moms to eliminate the clutter in their homes and in their lives. She shows them customized tools to get and stay organized. Audrey not only loves to work one-on-one with her clients, she gives seminars and workshops on the subject of organizing, writes a weekly blog on her A BETTER SPACE website, and guest blogs on various other sites. Audrey produces a free monthly newsletter “Organizing News You Can Use” and, in her spare time, creates products for her own U Can Do It product line.

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The Importance Of Back To School Physicals

happy-docThe thought of going back to the doctor because you are going back to school does not resonate well with many children and even some parents. However these back to school physicals are important because they give the doctor an opportunity to thoroughly examine your child’s ears, throat, heart, lungs and other parts of their body.

The pediatrician is also able to check growth parameter like height and weight to see if your child’s development is within the normal limits. Their immunization status is also evaluated to ensure they are up-to-date.

Screening tests like blood sugar, blood counts and cholesterol levels are also done during these visits. These are important because early detection of abnormal values can be corrected by dietary changes, while serious complications can develop if they remain undetected.

In addition to prescribing medications for children who need them, the doctor is also able to provide preventative counseling and wellness guidance for those who are found to be perfectly normal. Both groups of children also receive advice regarding exercising, sleeping, drinking, smoking, drugs and sexual activity.

The child also gets an opportunity to ask a medical professional any physical, social or emotional concerns they may have during these yearly back-to-school physicals.

Parents are also not left out since they can also voice any concerns they may have about their child’s health. They can also elicit the doctor’s support for good habits they may be trying to instill in their children. Therefore, even if your child seems perfectly healthy, schedule your annual back to school physical today.

Written by: Marian Kim, FizzNiche Staff Writer

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Start in the Summer to Ensure School Year Success

School busIs it really already that time…to start thinking of “Back to School?” Unfortunately, the answer is “yes.” It’s definitely not too early to start planning for your child’s success for the coming school year.

As a teacher for the past eighteen years and the father of two (11 and 16) I have dedicated a big part of my life to helping young people reach their full potential, to find confidence in themselves and to reach success in their lives.

As parents, we want our kids to have wonderful school experiences. We want them to learn a lot, get good grades, get along with their teachers, and make meaningful social connections. So, take time over the summer to discuss next year’s expectations. Talk to your child about what they want for next year, and express your desires for them as well.

Your discussion should incorporate what happened last school year, both the successes as well as areas that need improvement. When you identify what went well, show your child how to continue to ride that wave for continued success next year. As for the areas that didn’t work out so well, take the time this summer to figure out what needs to change for next year.

Time For Big Changes

It’s not good enough to say, “You didn’t do your homework last year. This year you need to do it.” Instead you must help your child first buy into the importance of getting their homework done: “Did you like missing out on the class party last year? How do you feel about your grades on your report card? Do you think you practiced math enough to be as successful as you want?” Then, figure out what needs to change next year: “Let’s make a new agreement. You come home after school. Get a snack. You can have some screen time. Then by 4:00 screens go off and you finish your homework before dinner.”

Time For a Few Tweaks

If your child had an okay year last year, talk to her about how to take it up a notch, how to take it to the next level: “You hung in there last year for English class with a B-. I think you can pull an A next year. You read two novels last year. Do you think you can read four this year?”

Time To Enjoy The Spoils Of Success

And, if your child just rocked the school year, inspire him to continue that momentum come fall: “You had a great school year, last year. What do you attribute your success to? Well, let’s see if we can’t keep that up this year.”

Building Confidence

This summer, you’re going to want to instill confidence in your child for the upcoming term. That means you are going to have them visualize their success by year’s end. Map out a plan of action to reach that goal over the upcoming ten months. If you need to create a new schedule together to ensure success, this is the time to do it.

Stand United With The Teacher

And don’t forget prepping yourself for the upcoming year, as well. That means, no matter who your child’s teacher/s is/are, be prepared to back them up. As a veteran in the classroom, I know that sometimes parents feel as though teachers pick on their children. The truth is, we don’t! If we are telling you there are issues, it’s not because we don’t like your child. It’s because we want your support to help address the issue. Even if you don’t particularly like your child’s new teacher, back them up. The moment your child senses a division between authority at home and school, they know they can work one side against the other. So, back up the teacher and discuss the best ways to help your child.

This summer should be filled with camps, trips, swimming pools and lemonade stands, but don’t wait until the last moment to prep your child for the upcoming school year. If you start early and do it right, next year can definitely be a breeze, a summer breeze.

Written by: Leon Scott Baxter, Author

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About the Author

Leon Scott Baxter is the founder of SafetyNetters.com and the author of four books, the latest titled “Secrets of Safety-Net Parenting.” He is an elementary school teacher, the father of two girls (11 and 16) and has been married to his college sweetheart since 1992.

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Back To School Tips

7403731050_9a1ee480deNo one ever really feels ready to kick start another school year. It’s not easy for any family to adjust to routine all over again, but here are some ideas that can help you and the rest of the family ease in and make the transition a lot smoother, not to mention keeping organized and prepared. A little preparation will end up saving you from frustration later on, so you have a smooth and stress free start to your year.

EASE IN SLOWLY

Ease into the schedule change. During the last two weeks of summer, re-introduce a school year bedtime. Begin waking late sleepers earlier and earlier, closer to the hour they’ll need to rise when school begins. Also, start scheduling mealtimes and snack times if you don’t already, this will make their tummies more acclimated to the same time frame.

CREATE A CALENDAR

Create a calendar! Between all the notes and school calendars, after-school activities, school functions, lunch menus, etc., what do you do when you’re drowning in paperwork? Make a centralized site for all family calendars and schedules. You’ll need a family event calendar to track after-school activities, school programs and volunteer work. For more specific details, add post-it notes or specialized calendars if you are working electronically.

PLAN AHEAD

Plan before you shop. Lists, lists, lists. Did we mention lists? Make your meal plans for the week ahead of time and make a list of what you plan on doing. If the store doesn’t have the item you want on sale if you are budgeting, you can make adjustments, but in general if you stick to your plan and take a few hours on a Sunday to cook ahead, portion food out and prepare, it makes everything easier for both you and the kids.

GET PAPERWORK ORGANIZED

Get your papers in order. By mid-summer you may want to schedule any allergist appointments, immunizations or sports physicals, and get all paperwork ready to give to the school. Sometimes a well visit or a specialist can take several months to schedule, so make sure you get it done as early as possible!

BREAKFAST

Breakfast, morning, get moving……….this can be the hardest to get back to, but make sure you allow yourself and the kids enough to time to get dressed, shower, load the backpacks (or an even better trick is to do that before bed), so they have time to sit and eat their breakfast. Also, give yourself a few extra minutes of leeway in the planning in case something does go off kilter and then you won’t be running late on a schedule that’s too rigid.

Once you get back in the swing of things, you and the kids will be back to your old routine in no time, and hopefully this just makes the switch that much easier.

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6 Back to School Home Organizing Tips

copywritingThe end of summer and the beginning of autumn brings an abrupt change in routine. It’s called “back-to-school.” Anxiety about this transition can be faced head-on by serious preparation. By organizing your home or dorm room, you’ll feel ready for the increased activity, hectic schedules and exciting opportunities.

Here are six simple tips to utilize in making your home or dorm streamlined for effectiveness:

Utilize a family planner

It’s never too early to get your family’s schedule in a week-at-a-glance planner. Place it where it can be seen by all, or use a white board planner that hangs on the wall. Make sure everyone’s activities-games, practices, church events, meetings, even who’s cooking on which nights–whatever needs remembering.

Give everything a place

Create space for new school books, new school clothes, backpacks, and physical education uniforms. Go through your things, and decide whether to keep them or toss them. From clothing drawers and closets, throw outgrown or tattered items into a goodwill box. Keep summer clothes that will fit next year in an under-the-bed storage box, out of the way.

Baskets by the door

Create a “launch pad” by placing a shelf with baskets by your front door. Here’s where you’ll put purses, keys, backpacks, books, and other things that need to be carried out the door on your next exit. Hooks can be handy for hanging backpacks, purses, hats and coats. Baskets and hooks can be labeled for each child or each area of your life, i.e., church, sports, school, shopping, etc.

Make extra space

Make space for new items by leaving one shelf clean. Keep an empty bin by the front door for items that need to be put in their proper place. Leave space on your bookcases for new art projects.

File away

Buy a large file box or designate a file drawer for weekly papers, homework reference materials, and the like. Use colored folders to distinguish between each child’s papers, or to separate the notes for each of your classes.

Freeze some dinners

As the date approaches for the start of classes, take a night or two to make freezer dinners that will come in handy when homework is hefty. In the dorm, keep a few easy-to-microwave dinners, such as Ramen or soup, for those nights when you need to hunker down with the books and avoid the social distraction of eating out.

By thinking ahead and planning early, these six tips for home organizing will help you manage back-to-school stress. You’ll find yourself with a clearer mind, a cleaner living space, and fewer lost items. Those autumn leaves will signal doors of opportunity opening, because you are ready for the challenges ahead.

Written by: Ruby Moseley, FizzNiche Staff Writer

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Back to School Preparation Tip List

School busI know, I know, summer isn’t over yet! The sound of splashing in the pool is proof of that. But it’s not too early to think ahead to prepare your family, especially school-age children, for the transition. Whether we want to admit it or not—it’s right around the corner.

The adjustment from summer to the start of school can be invigorating or horrifying, depending on the child. Parents can be supportive by getting organized ahead of time, which will eliminate some of the nerves that will inevitably occur.

Here is a list of tips for back to school preparation:

Visit the Doctor

Be sure your child is physically and emotionally ready by visiting the doctor early and addressing any health or emotional concerns. By the time school begins, they may be resolved, leaving one less challenge to face.

Decrease Electronics

Encourage your child to turn off the tv or computer, and read or play puzzles and games. Television is a passive activity and games and reading will prepare your child for learning.

Reestablish Sleep Patterns

Reestablish sleep and morning wake-up times at least one week before classes start. Begin waking late sleepers earlier as the first day of school approaches.

Start Scheduling

Get the school calendar as early as you can, and fill out your own with important dates.

Get Organized

Create a “launch pad” where books, purses and back packs will be left, for the morning dash out the door. Designate a homework center, with a special drawer, cabinet or bin nearby for pencils, dictionary, and other study needs. Set aside notebooks or storage bins for completed lessons and artwork.

Prepare for Back to School Shopping

Clean out drawers and closets for worn and out-grown clothes. Make a list of basic replacements before going out to shop.

Freeze Your Dinners

Make ahead and freeze a few dinners, for the hectic first few nights after the start of school.

The possibilities that lie in the new school year can be more encouraging when children feel prepared. This type of parental support demonstrates your love, and can add to his/her confidence and positivity for the beginning of a new school year.
For better or worse, it’s just weeks till the school door swings open. Wait a minute, was that the first bell ringing?

 

Written by: Ruby Moseley, FizzNiche Staff Writer

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