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The Countdown to School

     Are you ready for school to start? Like most parents, I have mixed feelings about going back to a routine. But one thing is sure, I'm starting to feel a little anxious knowing this is the last week of sleeping in and letting my kids stay up late.

    My little one starts a new elementary school this year, which means a change for both of us. He seems to be completely OK with making new friends and learning his way around a new place. Maybe it's silly, but I'm worried whether he'll get a good teacher, whether I can walk him to his class the first day of school and whether he'll have a good school year. I'm now eligible for a bus route, so I'm worried my kids will be okay on the bus. I'm not a huge worrier, but the start of school always sets off at least a little anxiety for me. Is that true for most moms?

    By now, most parents are counting down and dreading getting up early, getting kids off to school, the complaining about homework, packing the lunchboxes and making decisions about activities. Personally, I'm looking forward to getting myself back on a normal work routine and writing without as many interruptions.

    But in the meantime, I still have a week with my kids and I'm going to enjoy a more relaxed schedule. Valerie Vazquez, a Broward school teacher, spent her summer building a blog called Palm Tree Playground  for South Florida parents who are looking for fun, educational, inexpensive activities to do with their kids. "I do it as a hobby. My dream is to share it with as many readers as possible because I know many parents just don't have the time to look for activities." So, if you have some time off this week and want to enjoy the local area with your kids before the routine starts up again,  read her blog for some great ideas.