Getting Ready for School

It’s getting to be that time of year – back to school. While some parents are anxiously anticipating getting back to a routine; others are dreading the end of long lazy summer days at home with no early morning alarm clocks and only driving to fun activities like the swimming pool or the amusement park. With the beginning of the school year, families are once again ruled by start and end times, sport schedules and homework.

There are a few things you can do to make the transition from summer fun to getting back in the classroom a bit easier on everyone.

First, create a family calendar. Keep this calendar in a central spot, like the kitchen. Older students can be responsible for posting their own events, but you’ll have to record things for your younger kiddos – like when it’s their turn to bring a snack, or when it’s pajama day.

Stock up on foods that your kids will actually eat. Do a grocery run each weekend. Cut up fruits and veggies. Stock the pantry with nutritious snacks. Then, teach your kids how to make their own lunches. If they make them the night before your mornings will go much smoother.

Set your alarm clock for 15 minutes earlier than you think you need to get up. This will allow you time for the little things that can go wrong in the morning.

Have your kids set out their clothes the night before. In fact, have them shower the night before.  And be sure that they have their backpacks and all their homework ready and waiting by the front door.

With a little advance planning you can make the transition easy on the entire family. And remember as you are driving them to school or to the bus stop, it’s a great time to talk about goals for the coming school year.

Make a Smooth Transition Back to School

back to schoolWith school starting it can be hard for kids to adjust from the relaxing days of summer back into school mode. Here are a few tips to help them – and you – make the transition easier.

Pre-plan supplies: Don’t let everything go until the last minute. Shop for needed school clothes, shoes, school supplies and any technology on a schedule over several weeks. Structure special places in your home to stage school activities. Create several school outfits and hang them together in each child’s closet. Create a specific location for kids to find the pencils, pens, papers or other school supplies they may need so there’s no rushed morning searching.

Plan and negotiate lunches: Will your children be bringing their lunches to school or eating in the cafeteria? Or maybe there will be a mix during the week? Now is the time to negotiate the lunch issue so that you avoid those pre-school morning debates. Include planning a combination of wholesome foods with a few treats to make workable lunches for everyone. And while you’re at it – maybe you want to plan healthful lunches for yourself too. You can eat better and save money over eating out.

Pre-plan breakfast: Have a nice variety of easy and healthful breakfast options ready to go every morning. Hot cereal, eggs and toast, fresh fruit salad or frozen breakfast options such as whole-grain toaster waffles can combine to make a good start to the day for everyone. Plan on an extra 15-30 minutes in the morning so that no one has to rush.

Get an early start on going to bed: If your kids have gotten in the habit of going to bed late, start moving their bedtime to an earlier schedule a half-hour at a time every few days. By the time school starts, you want them to be able to wake up easily in the morning with a good night’s sleep behind them. Little ones can benefit from a standard bedtime routine with baths, books and good night kisses on a regular schedule.

Getting back into the mood for school can be tough, but as a parent taking these simple steps can make the process easier for everyone in the family.

Fulton Homes 12th Annual Teacher of the Week Program

teacher_of_the_weekAlmost everyone can remember a favorite teacher – one who offered encouragement and inspiration and maybe even changed your life.

Fulton Homes values the hard work and commitment teachers give every year to make their classrooms special, and wants to honor these outstanding educators.

Students across the Valley are asked to nominate a teacher who made a difference in their lives. Every week, Fulton Homes will select an educator who will receive $300 in cash plus prizes from Fulton Homes and the Dairy Council of Arizona.

This award is offered in partnership with KNIX-FM Country, and radio personality Carolyn Coffey will surprise winning teachers with the award. The teachers will also be spotlighted on the Friday KNIX morning show with Ben and Matt. At the end of the school year the winning teachers will be honored at a special luncheon, where one outstanding teacher will be chosen as the Fulton Homes “Teacher of the Year.”

“Teacher of the Week is an outstanding way to honor educators, who mostly go unrecognized for all of the hard work and time they put into their job,” said Douglas Fulton, CEO of Fulton Homes. “Our teachers and schools need our continuing support.”

Students can nominate a special teacher for Fulton Homes’ Teacher of the Week by submitting a brief form at any Fulton Homes location or online at  Winners are chosen based on their commitment to education, career achievements and impact on students’ lives.

For more information about Fulton Homes Teacher of the Week, visit our website and click on the Fulton Foundation link, or visit, keyword “Teacher.”

Help Your Child Get Ready for School

15192775_MAfter an entire summer off, heading back to school can be a tough transition. Changes that you start making now can make the process easier for you and your children. Try some of these ideas:

Adjust their sleep schedules: Take the next few weeks to slowly get everyone used to going to bed and getting up earlier, until your family is on the school schedule.

Start a breakfast habit: Studies show that children who start school with a good breakfast, including a combination of protein and good carbohydrates such as fruit, stay focused and do better in school. Experiment with different breakfasts until you have a menu of choices that everyone enjoys.

Make space for homework: If you haven’t done this already, set aside a place for every child to organize their books and assignments. If you have one of the Fulton drop centers, it provides a perfect place to set up everything needed for the next day so nothing is forgotten in the morning. As children get older, desks and file cabinets in their rooms provide a central place to track schoolwork. A calendar – either paper or on a computer or tablet – can help them track when assignments are due.

Build a reference library: Although you can find many resources online, having a dictionary, thesaurus and grammar handbook handy encourages your children to look things up as needed. If you know what books they’ll be reading in school, you might want to pick up some of them so they are ready when needed.

Plan an end of summer event: A party or family gathering to wrap up the summer can help prepare everyone for the upcoming change. You could have some fun school supplies as favors and backpacks ready to fill. This will encourage everyone to look forward to the start of school, not just the parents.