“Patience Young Grasshopper”

Now or later

I love baking. It’s calming, soothing, brings out my creativity and character.

Like tonight, I realized I forgot to pick up bread at the store and decided to try my hand at making it myself. I let the yeast meld with the warm water while I sifted the flour with the egg substitute. Then I added a little salt, some spice mixture and olive oil. Into the oven it went for 17 minutes.

I waited.

As the smell of fresh, homemade bread wafted from the kitchen to my dining room, I peaked inside the oven, poked a few holes to let the steam rise, and put the timer on for three more minutes.

I waited some more.

I waited till I could see the dough turn just a slight brown, knowing that the olive oil seeped through the bottom to create a crisp crust. Taking it out of the oven, I let it rest.

I waited again.

Would it come out all soft in the center? Would it taste good? Should I put butter and jam on it or date syrup?

Finally. It was done.  Not exactly as I had envisioned, more like a scone than a bread, but still, deliciously satisfying.

Waiting is anticipation.

Anticipation is full of a range of scenarios, strategies, emotions, what-ifs, hopes, nerves, and dreams. There’s so much more to the art of waiting than we acknowledge because, in our go-go-go culture today, we do not value waiting. Everything is at our fingertips. With the tap of the “confirm” or “send” or “delivery ordered” button I can buy, watch, and eat most anything, which makes it even more difficult to hone the art of waiting.

Waiting is a skill. A skill that is intended to teach patience. A skill that is becoming harder and harder to teach.

Just like our 24 hour news cycle and our quick social media replies, the quality of what we are saying, what we are doing and what we are portraying and projecting has been replaced with knee-jerk reactions. We are choosing to react instead of act on our own volition.

What can we do about it? How can we change? How can I change to be more artful, more intentional about waiting?

Well, I am learning that slowing down does not mean I will end up last in the race. In fact, it means that I will remain steady and steadfast to the cause. Steady is not boring. It does not mean I have given up or giving in. Steady means that I am stable and stability can bring consistency and appreciation to those aspects of life I may have put aside for a chance to run the race.

As I take this summer to recharge and reevaluate, I vow to also help myself learn to slow down a little more, be a little more intentional about my words, and when I’m ready — after waiting for the right moment — take action.

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Terry Tutors Specialized Education Services, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable and educational nonprofit with a focus on providing wraparound academic, behavior and advocacy support services for struggling students in southern California. Learn More at TerryTutors.com

Preparation Takes Away The Frustration

Get-Organized-School-0612As I stared at my supply closet today I realized drastic cleanup measures were needed! It seemed like this summer all the composition books, chapter books, pencil cases, poster board, binders, glue sticks, index cards, rulers, pencils, pens, planners, paperclips, highlighters, erasers, folders, notebooks, and one random science fair trifold just exploded everywhere. Where did all this stuff come from? Well, these are just a few of the many supplies found in the closet of a very busy Tutor 🙂 These could have also been easily found in your own home school supply closet. It’s easy to make and saves you ton of frustration over those last minute forgettable items.

Preparing to Deal with Back to School Anticipation

Back to School time presents its own challenges, namely getting back into the school routine with early morning school bells and evenings full of sports, dance lessons, music lessons, tutoring, and homework. One of the best ways to deal with that anticipation, however, is to adequately prepare. The key to eliminating frustration is none other than that boring, old staple: predictability. Now, I know that doesn’t sound too exciting but when it’s 6:45 am and your child forgot to tell you that they needed to get a protractor for today’s lesson, you’ll be able to calmly reach into your own school supply closet instead of being the first person in line at Office Max that day.

Give Your Child a Sense of Internal Calm

Thinking ahead and anticipating what to expect not only takes away the frustration (and subsequent argument that may ensue as a result) but also gives children a sense of internal calm. Schedules, routines, and knowing what comes next allows a child to feel safe because they know that their caregiver has everything under control.

Teach Them Executive Function Skills

By teaching the art of preparation and leading by example, you’re also helping your child develop the necessary Executive Function Skills: prioritization, organization, strategizing, logic, time management. These are skills your child will not only use as the foundation for good study habits throughout their academic career but also throughout their chosen professional career.

Don’t Spend A Lot of Money

Stocking up on those school supplies doesn’t have to cost as much as Ivy League tuition. Here are a few of my favorite school supply stores that make it easy to get prepared without spending a lot of dough:

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Christine Terry, B.A., J.D., is the Founder & Owner of Terry Tutors, a Private Tutoring, Family Coaching, and Education Advocacy service dedicated to supporting the whole student. She writes this blog as an effort to help Moms & Dads Navigate Generation Z, Honestly. Want to Know More? Head on over to TerryTutors.com