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Hello and welcome to NOLA Catholic Parenting podcasts. NOLA Catholic Parenting podcasts are a natural progression of our weekly column in the Clarion Herald and our three-times-a week blog written by Catholic moms and dads who are raising their children in our faith. The podcasts will share our thoughts, experiences and challenges as Catholic parents every other week at and Thanks for listening. If you have a topic you would like covered, please email

Jan 7, 2020

Episode #8

Christine Bordelon talks to columnists and bloggers Gavin Lewis and Gaby Smith about getting kids back on track after the Christmas break.

:29 – Gavin Lewis has four kids at home, so it’s not so much of a break. His family tries to take a trip out of town to at least one family’s house. They went to Tennessee once, and they try to take a trip, but scheduling all the kids’ activities makes it different.

2:10: Gaby has family all over country and travels to at least one family’s home during the holidays. When she was young, her family stayed home. She has family in the military, so it is unpredictable where they go, depending on where they have moved. In between, several friends/relatives have been getting married around Christmas holidays. Spends time with her grandfather in New Roads. This year, they are going to Disney for a day.

4:15: Christine talks about getting her kids back to school. She used to let her children, when they were young to slide during holidays.

4:54: Gavin, who has been a teacher, principal and is a parent, said try not to let the kids get out of the swing of things. He encourages parents to let the kids do something educational every day to keep the brain flowing. This way they don’t get their kids totally out of using their brain. He doesn’t let his kids watch TV during school week. About four days before they start school in January, he restarts their bedtime routine. Their kids had to adjust to go to sleep without TV. Don’t wait until the night before they go back to school to try to return to routine. Talk to their kids about their expectations about the new semesters – how can they improve.

7:17: Gaby talks about what she does to get her son ready to returning to school. She has chores her son has to do. Tries to train him to remember to do things himself without reminders. The devices kids use – especially the tablets – mesmerize them.

8:40: Gavin- for every hour on the iPad, give him 10 to 15 minutes of doing math or reading. When he was a principal, he would send home a packet with some written work and even websites that parents could peruse with their children in an effort to make sure they didn’t lose students academically over the two-week break. It wasn’t heavily graded, but it kept them on track, Gavin said. He knows the kids need a break. He encouraged parents to read books with their children to bond. “Be involved in your child’s education.” He said it was received well by the parents as long as it wasn’t too much work for them to do.

11:20: Christine found the parenting toolbook online with suggestions to get the kids ready to return to school. Focused on working individually on things they might have trouble with.