Summer's not over

What a strange time of year this is for us Minnesota parents: We’re reluctant to let go of our cherished last gasps of true warmth — and all the fun that summer brings.

And yet, school-supply lists have been out for weeks (or longer). This year my son starts school on Aug. 31, which just makes it feel particularly early.

Fortunately, our August issue of Minnesota Parent (above) is here to get you motivated for the big school year ahead. We have a fascinating primer on standardized tests in Minnesota schools, plus back-to-school tips from a 15-year school veteran — Megan Devine, an elementary school teacher and a mother of four, who writes our School Days column.

Her advice about sleep really struck me.

Even though I’m a mom with a child who’s been in summer care his whole life, I still tend to slack a bit on bedtime in summer.

But that must come to an end in mid-August if I want to be smart about it, Megan says: “Even if your child’s been getting up earlier to go to child care or summer events, when your child enters school, he or she will be expected to self-regulate at a different intensity for the length of a full school day, and this can be exhausting.”

Indeed, I’ve routinely seen my son tire tremendously during that first week of school. 

It reminds me of those first few weeks of starting a new job. You’re not just trying to meet everyone and take in your new surroundings, you’re also required to think and do your work.

In this issue we also have some great back-to-school books, plus tips from a local pediatrician to help families with school-year concerns, including overly heavy backpacks, asthma and even pink eye.

Finally, as is our tradition every August, we’ve also peppered our pages with a variety of stories to help you plan your kid’s next birthday party. (We need to have a little fun, right? Check out our party resources here, here and here!)

We also have the latest on inexpensive Minions party ideas — and not-so-expensive in-person princess parties and bulldozer (real bulldozer) parties, too! 

Whatever the year of school (or preschool) brings — whatever you decide to do for your kid’s next birthday bash — we’re wishing you all the best. 

Now, how about one last s’more?