A Welcome Shift in Routine

My kids went back to school last week:  a new place, a new school, new teachers and friends.  Everyone gets the first day jitters; we can take comfort in we’re not alone.

There is also something extremely exciting in a new routine. It’s a chance to start over, fresh, and form new habits.

The season is also shifting gradually into Fall, and it’s time to savor and appreciate the beautiful weather.

After we walked to school the first day, I gleefully road my bike to the library - soaking in the sunshine.  Overlooking a river, it’s a beautiful place from which to be productive.  Before school started, I wasn’t able to fit in the welcome quiet of the library during the ever-changing camp schedules.

I’m excited to welcome my kids home after school. Now that they have structure for the majority of their day, I can focus on how to make the rest of their day FUN: homework outside, evening walks and bike rides to take advantage of the long daylight, and even outdoor playtime before school.

My 3rd grader’s teacher reminded us to ask our kids what funny stories they had from the first day.  What another wonderful perspective on transition - to appreciate the humor in it all.

And now that we’re all in a new routine, I’m also appreciative of what we noticed as a family this Summer outside:

  • Teenage boys at a BMX park like to climb trees even better than racing their bikes
  • A swimming hole cools you off just as well as a pool
  • Tubing on a river is better than an amusement park
  • Hummingbirds will show up out my window in Colorado just like they did in Virginia thanks to native Coral Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)

I’m also grateful that my kids know outside time is good for them.  With school back in session, my eight year-old invited me to join him for homework outside.  When my ten year-old had to stay in bed on on Sunday due to a fever, he asked me later in the day if I would go play tennis with him.

Mid-match, I asked him how he was feeling. “Much better”, he said.  “I think I just needed to get outside.”  In fact, he was well enough to go to school the next day.

With the excitement of a new routine, how do you want to enjoy this time of year for you and your family?

About Rebecca P. Cohen
Rebecca P. Cohen is a finalist for the 2012 Outdoor Inspiration Awards and the go-to spokesperson for gardening and outdoor activities any time of the year.  Rebecca is author of the book, 15 Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect with Your Kids (Sourcebooks) and inventor of Rebecca Plants Curiosity Cards. Rebecca’s work has been featured in Better Home and Gardens, Parenting, Redbook, Working Mother, Family Circle, Backyard Solutions, and has appeared on live morning news shows around the country. Rebecca has been a proud ambassador of the Seeds of Change Sowing Millions Project and featured as a spokesmom for the National Wildlife Federation’s Be Out There movement on PBS Wild Animal Baby.  She has inspired thousands with her public appearances and community and school events, and motivates still more to follow their dreams and passions as the host of Wish It, Dream It, Do It! radio. For more information visit RebeccaPlants.com.

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