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Happenings Around Embrey


04 August . 2023

Back to School at Embrey Mill

Get ready because it's that time of year again: back to school at Embrey Mill!

Whether your kids are sad to see summer end or happy to get back into the classroom, beginning the prep early will make the whole experience an easier transition.

And it will be more fun too!

Luckily, your home here in Embrey Mill (and Embrey Mill itself) provides ample space to make the new school year memorable.

To make everything easier, we put together a list of tips to get your home ready for your kids going back to school.

And, to answer that first-day-of-school question, “What did you do over the summer?” we have a few suggestions for last minute adventures to make your kids the envy of their friends!

Okay, class, take your seat!

Back-to-School Tips

1. Shop Early, Shop Smart

One of the best lessons to teach your children as you prepare them to go back to school is to be prepared. And one of the easiest ways to teach this lesson is to shop for school supplies early. Just like Halloween candy appearing on shelves in the middle of summer, back-to-school items show up earlier every year. Take advantage of this and stock up on school supplies way in advance.

BUT, make sure you’re shopping smart. Many shopping centers (like Spotsylvania Town Center and Potomac Mills) have sales, deal, and contests specifically for back to school, so timing certain purchases to coincide with sales can save you quite a lot. Also, this year there won’t be a state tax holiday, so shopping the sales for bigger purchases is even more important this season. All you need is a plan, and you’ll be able to get the best prices for all your back-to-school needs.

2. Develop a Homework Plan

Speaking of plans, developing a homework plan before the first day of school is essential for a successful back-to-school experience at Embrey Mill. As the new school year approaches, it's important to establish the routines that will set your kids up for success. By creating a plan, you can ensure that you allocate enough time for homework and study sessions.

Embrey Mill provides the perfect incentives for focused learning with our close-knit community and various amenities. Make sure your homework plan incorporates not only a work schedule and goals, but also rewards—and post it somewhere that’s easily seen. With this plan in place, your young academics will be able to make the most of their time and maximize their academic potential.

3. Post a Calendar

Back to school also means back to afterschool activities. That means you’re going to need a calendar to keep them all straight. Sure, you’ll probably use your digital devices to remember them, but having a very visible calendar can really help put the school year into perspective. This will allow both you and your kids to write things on the calendar, so everyone in the family can see when things are.

Make sure also to hang the calendar in a place that everyone sees every day. This could be on the fridge or even by the front door. If you lived in a Hemingway by Richmond American Homes, for example, your family’s calendar could be in the mud room so it’s visible each time you go in and out of your garage. Or, it could be in your loft area, so everyone sees it each time they go in or out of their bedrooms. The important part is not only to have it as “in your face” as possible, but also to use it!

4. Get Used to School Bedtimes Again

Often, when summer break hits and the days get longer, bedtimes get more relaxed. We stay up later, we let our kids stay up later, and we all celebrate the sun. But with school approaching, one of the best things you can do is readjust bedtimes and bedtime routines early. No one wants to go to bed late one day and then suddenly have to get up early the next day for the first day of school. Getting bedtimes back to “school time” before school starts will get your kids’ sleep patterns back in line with how they are during the school year. 

And the easiest way to get your kids back on a healthy schooltime sleep schedule is to lead by example. Because as we all know, when one person in a home changes their normal routine, everyone changes. So, be the change you wish to see in your home by getting everyone used to the new schedule before it has to be a reality. Then, when everyone at the office or school complains about how much sleep they’ve lost getting their kids back to school, your family will be calm, cool, and well rested!

5. Create After-School and Homework Stations

As many of these tips go, back to school is all about creating beneficial routines. Here are two more that also have their own locations! Your kids need set areas where they can get their homework done every day. It should have all the supplies and space they need, proper lighting, and a supportive chair. By having their own set space, it gives them a safe place to set their homework routines, to be creative, and to excel.

But that’s not the only space they need. When your kids come home and burst through the door, doing the same thing everyday with their school gear prevents anything from getting lost in the bustle. Whether your drop zone becomes an after-school station or a part of their homework station, having a set place and routine for storing their school stuff will make everything run smoother in both coming home from and going to school. The Rowan by Drees Homes, for example, has a family foyer built right in that is a perfect after-school station.

Create Final Summer Memories at Embrey Mill

As we mentioned earlier, a clichéd first-day-of-school activity is writing about something exciting you did over the summer. So, give your kids something great to write about with one final big blast.

Sure, you could go to an amusement park like Kings Dominion or Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and that would be a lot of fun. But just like the assignment, that’s just a little too cliché. Instead of heading south, why not head north for an animal adventure like no other. Set your sights on NOVA Wild!

NOVA Wild is an interactive safari though 30 acres of wilderness where you might spy any of the over 200 wild animals that live there. Capybaras, cheetahs, wallabies, and lemurs are just some of the exotic wildlife you may meet. Plus, you could add an animal encounter to your general admission which gets you up close and personal with a zookeeper-guided tour and behind-the-scenes look at a specific animal. Current encounters include: capybara, bunnies, and anteaters. Imagine how much fun it will be to write about that!

And, of course, you can also plan one last summer tour of all of Embrey Mill’s parks and playgrounds. Travel from trail to trail. Swing on every swing. Swim in every pool. Eat everything delicious at Grounds Bistro & Café. End the perfect summer day with a final bash around a fire pit. And then you’ll be all ready for your kids to go back to school at Embrey Mill.