The lax routines of summer, full of sleepy mornings and late nights playing outside, are about to give way to the structured routines of the school year. That transition can be hard on a lot of kids after having entire days to themselves (not to mention the year and a half of online learning during the pandemic). Despite this, there are a few ways parents can ensure that by the first day of school, kiddos are fresh and ready to take on the school year. How Parents Can Help Young Kids Transition Back Into the School Year
Corn Chowder With Spicy Red Pepper Cream
We make this chowder every year when sweet corn is in season. The spicy red pepper cream is optional, but it brightens the taste of the corn without overwhelming the fresh flavor.
• 4 ears of corn, shucked • 1 slice of bacon • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp onion, finely chopped • 3 tbsp celery, finely chopped • 3 small red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock • 1 tsp thyme • 1 bay leaf • Salt and freshly ground pepper • 1 1/2 cups milk
Spicy Red Pepper Cream: • 1 large or 2 small red bell peppers • 2 tsp medium-hot
chile powder or 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
• 1 1/2 tsp oregano • 1/2 tbsp olive oil • 1/2 tsp salt • 1 tbsp heavy cream
Help them get their supplies in order. Ask your child’s teacher for a list of school supplies (if they don’t automatically send you one). Then, give yourself and your child ample time before the school year starts to shop for all the supplies they need. Make it a fun experience, and when you can, let your child pick out school supplies that suit their personality. At the same time, a first day of school outfit can help officially mark the fresh start of the new school year when the day finally arrives! Ease them into it. The best way to make any transition less jarring is to make it a gradual process. About a week before the school year starts, put them on a sleep schedule that’s similar to the one they’ll have while in school, with earlier bedtimes and wakeups. Start limiting the number of sugary snacks they have before going to sleep and take away screens about an hour before they go to bed to help them fall asleep more easily. Talk to them about their fears/concerns. Going back to school in a classroom, most likely with new students and a new teacher, can be scary for some children. While you maybe shouldn’t ask them directly what they’re afraid of, you can ask how they’re feeling about the new school year (this will help you discover if anything about the transition is bothering them).
1. Using a sharp knife, cut corn kernels from cobs. 2. In a stock pot, cook bacon until slightly crisp, then chop. 3. Add onion and celery and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. 4. Add potatoes, chicken stock, thyme, and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. 5. Cover and simmer over low heat until the potatoes are just tender, about 10 minutes. 6. Add the milk and simmer for 5 minutes. 7. Add the corn and simmer until tender, 3–4 minutes. 8. Remove the bay leaf. 9. For the red pepper cream: Roast bell pepper under the broiler, turning, until charred all over. 10. Transfer to a bowl, cover bowl with plastic and let steam for 20 minutes. 11. Peel the pepper; discard the core, ribs, and seeds. Coarsely chop. 12. In a food processor, puree the pepper with the chili powder, oregano, olive oil and salt. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the cream. 13. Ladle the chowder into soup bowls and top each with a spoonful of red pepper cream.
Transitions and changes can be hard, but with adequate, intentional preparation, your kiddo will be good to go on the first day, no problem!
Rinehardt Law | BeSmartLegal.com
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