We’re now in the second half of September, and the little ones have been back in school for about a month. During the summer months, it’s easy to feel close as a family. At any point in the day, you can go into their rooms and find them watching a movie or step outside to see them running around in the backyard. Come autumn, those moments are few and far between. The time you used to spend making crafts with your children is now spent just trying to fit all the errands you need to do in the day once they’re home from school. Evenings now look a little more like this: homework, dinner, bath, bed. With Texas requiring 180 days of instructional time for our children, though, it’s important that we find a way to remain close even once they’ve gone back to school. Here are some easy ways you can do just that.
Make Saturday mornings family breakfast day. Some of the best memories are made in a kitchen. Let mom handle omelets, dad handle pancakes, and the kiddos be your little helpers. The family will begin looking forward to the hearty meal and quality time, and as time goes on, memories of flour on their little noses and dad pouring too much syrup when mom’s not looking will be some of everyone’s most cherished.
Schedule two or three times a week for family fitness. When children are kept in a classroom all day, they have lots of stored energy that they need to get out. Use that to your advantage. Instead of giving them thirty minutes to run around outside alone, go for a bike ride as a family. You’ll get to squeeze family time in your busy schedule with a side of great exercise for everyone.
Don’t skip out on church. When everyone is back to being busy bees, it’s oh so easy to miss one Sunday morning of church to sleep in – then another and another. Before you know it, you’re in the habit of not going at all. Be a good example for your children by showing that time with family, and more importantly God, always comes first. After church, enjoy a nice family lunch together before getting ready for Monday morning.
Trying to handle everyone’s conflicting schedules can be a challenge, especially as kids get older and are more involved in extracurricular activities and clubs. Don’t give up. Home should always be where family is, and family should be where the heart is. Go to as many of their games and recitals as you can. If possible, be the one who drops them off at school in the morning. The little moments add up. These days are gone too soon, but if you invest time now in making sure your children know where home truly is, you’ll have many more beautiful days together to come.
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