Believe it or not, summer is coming to an end and the new school year is fast approaching. If enforcing a schedule, completing homework, and getting the kiddos to practice on time fills you with impeding dread, don’t worry! We can help. Check out these top tips to get organized, get the family back on a school year schedule, and keep everything rolling smoothly.
1-) Ease the family into a school year schedule. Don’t wait until the first day of school to start enforcing a schedule. To avoid War World 3 the first morning of school, start waking up the kiddos earlier each week until they are waking up at the time they would need to start getting ready for school. During the summer, set aside designated reading times during the day so kids can keep their reading skills sharp for the start of the school year. A few weeks before school starts, begin introducing bedtime at a regular time and practicing a bedtime routine.
2-) Create a Central Family Calendar. Keeping up with rehearsals, practice schedules, homework, vacations, and work schedules can be a nightmare. Try creating a central family calendar so that all family members can update their events. This can be a paper calendar in a central location or an electronic calendar that is accessible from each family member’s cell phone. Establish a practice of collecting school, practice, homework, and work schedules at the beginning of the month and updating everything into the shared calendar.
3-) Plan Ahead. Did you know that August is the second-biggest sales month for clothing stores? Getting everyone fitted for their back to school wardrobe can be hectic and expensive. Plan ahead to shop for deals on clothing and school supplies. Most schools provide a list of items that are required for the first day of school. Be sure to have your shopping list for all kiddos and check local sales. For a quicker pre-preparation method, try using Amazon Prime to order supplies and get your list shipped to you within 2 days. Be sure to check for available coupons at checkout.
4-) Delegate. Are your mornings hectic and crazy? Does everyone barely make it out of the door and to school or work on time? If your kids are old enough, consider delegating responsibilities for each child to prep for the next day. For example, older children may be able to make and pack their own lunches or pack their own homework. If you have a full house, older children may be able to assist their younger siblings in getting ready and out the door in the morning. Children may be able to take turns with chores such as feeding the dog or clearing the breakfast dishes.
5-) Set Limits. At the end of the day, you are one person or one parental unit. You can only do so much without creating a whirlwind of craziness in your family’s schedule. You have to juggle work, school, practices, rehearsals, everyday life, and still have some sanity left over. Consider setting limits on the number of activities you have going on per semester. Some families choose to have a limit of one or two activities per child per season. Others choose to bring in help to meet the deadlines of picking up kids and taking them to practice in the midst of busy work schedules. Whatever the balance is for your family, don’t be afraid to set limits to what you commit to.
All The Best,
Kelley Carter, CPIA
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