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Publisher's Pen

September is almost here! Parents and kids have mixed emotions about this crazy busy month! We have enjoyed the unstructured routines of a pretty normal summer (thank goodness) and hopefully shared plenty of quality family time just chilling and playing together! Now it's time to get organized for back to school, making lunches, packing backpacks, running to after school and weekend activities and less time together as a family.

The key to a successful transition back to school is to be extremely organized. Try to think of your family as a small business. Set up systems for you and your kids to follow. Simple things like having a large calendar where you note all the kid's activities. Colour code the activities for each child; Matthew's activities in blue, Anna's in purple and Sarah's in red. This way you see your schedule easily. Have a place in your home for kids to place permission forms to sign, and a binder with class and sports teams contact lists. At the back door place a small tray with things your family might need daily: Band-aids, coins for parking meters or lunch money, batteries, pencils, pens, stapler, tape etc. What goes in the tray will be determined over the month of September. As the weather gets cooler, have a box for mittens and hats that the kids drop in every day. This will hopefully stop the frantic search for them in the morning before school.

A simple solution to keeping the morning routine running smoothly is having the kids make their lunches and pack their backpacks every evening. You will be ready to go with out the stress and panic of being late. Do what you can to limit stress on yourself and your children. After a few weeks of setting up a routine, it should hopefully run like clockwork!

This issue features more tips to make the transition back to school easier. Check out the information about places and programs to join in our Join Up! section. There are many opportunities for children to participate in sports, dance, theatre, music, art and more. What ever your child's interestÖthere is a program or class. Join up as a family to attend specific programs or purchase a membership to a museum, live theatre or concerts, nature or a recreation centre. Get a library card for each family member and visit the library together monthly. Make time to reading together when ever you can - at breakfast or before bed.

You still have a couple weeks of summer left to enjoy to plan the BEST end of summer yet with epic family fun ideas. There is still so much going on in our great city and province and many events and activities are free of cost. Head to the beach or take a road trip to a country fair. Check out our Family Fun Calendar for some great suggestions!

Have a wonderful end of August and smooth transition to September!

Susan



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