Back to school is slightly a catch 22 for me. Handing over easy evenings not centered around tons of homework needing to be completed by uninterested kids, reading, half taken showers, rushed dinners and so on and so forth in exchange for a few hours of quiet me makes me ponder life (exaggeration you all know how I can get lol). Since June I’ve drifted off into sleep while being serenaded by extraordinarily loud Xbox Live conversations, a 6 year old simply talking into space, televisions blaring because my best guess is my children are deaf lol, and tiny little doggie nails tip tapping on the wood floors. Probably left something out, but I think that enough lol.
Tonight for the 1st time since June my house is void of noise (with the exception of a ceiling fan and my typing on the computer). In just a little over two weeks the little minions will be back in school. Summertime for my children means no bedtime, no chore chart (they still are expected to help) and no bath schedule (but they are expected to take them lol). Just easy living. This is why we prepare early. After several months of staying up until the sun comes up and sleeping the entire day away a routine has to be put back in place.
Here are some helpful tips to prepare for back to school:
Bedtime is the most important routine (to me) when speaking of back to school. This allows the child’s body to accumulate back to a normal sleep patterns. (but I’m sure you already knew that lol). The chart below details how much sleep the National Sleep Foundation recommends.
Although your child may not have homework assigned attached to whether they pass or fail it’s still a good idea to begin doing some type of educational activities. If you kept that going throughout the summer virtual high five to you! I started out strong but faded as the summer and life progressed. (bad mommy) . Here are a few sites that work well for me. They have free printables that can assist in getting back into normal school days routine.
Our school district recommends reading to your child or having your child read to you for at least 20 minutes a day. If your child enjoys reading (or being read to) like my 6 year old that’s great. However, if the child is like my 13 year and thinks reading is a major waste of time (it’s gotta be the teen thing because in what world does that make sense lol) having your child understand that this is an activity that will take place daily for the next several months is vital. Starting early could lessen the blow. Last year we found a writer, Kwame Alexander, that he enjoys reading. The book is written in poem form however there’s a story line. Also give Goodreads a browse if you are struggling to find reading material your child will like. Perhaps add a library night to your schedule. Allow your teen to cruise through the aisles of the appropriate reading section to find something he/she may enjoy.
4. Electronics Limitation
I personally am not a screen time limiter. For me if all your priority items have been taken care of go for it! If you are there’s no judgement. Moms have to stick together. There’s no right or wrong way and the manual is still in production I assume. LOL. Anywho, if you plan to limit your child’s screen time, and have not already done so, now is the time. Slowly decrease your child’s screen time over the next two weeks. This could help decrease or eliminate the push back some kids enjoy throwing our way.
5. Chore Charts and Family Meetings
If, like me, you gave your child a “free summer” but plan to go back to your regularly scheduled program reintroduce the chore chart and memos now. In our house I provide them with a time allocation chart and chore chart. If you finish sooner than listed that’s awesome if not the free time given at the end of the evening will be used to complete the unfinished tasks. This enables me to move through the evening seemingly easy. This year I plan to give the “chore for hire” method a try.
6. Purge and Organize
Perhaps in your quiet hours or over the weekend begin to remove old clothes and shoes that don’t fit or are worn from closets. If you haven’t gone school clothes shopping this aid in determining what is needed for school. Additionally, doing this step without your child’s input could spare you a lot of aggravation. My daughter literally has shirts that still have the “T” in the size description because she just couldn’t part with it and I pick my battles. LOL. Doing this a little early could also provide additional monetary resources. If If available in your area, take gently used clothing and shoes to a child consignment shop and cash in on them.
To completely annihilate night before school starts hangover begin labeling your children’s school items now. Writing your child’s initials on 75 glue sticks the night before prior to school starting isn’t pretty. (ask the master procrastinator how she knows and she’ll tell you it used to be her life…lol). This would also be a great time to began packing book bags. The child won’t need any of these items before school starts so why not?
Remember to take care of mommy and daddy! Sip a cup a coffee or glass of wine, indulge in a good book, savor a bath or watch a television show your recorded three weeks ago in solitude. Just do something you enjoy. Before you even realize you’ll be back in the thick of it and you’ll be glad you did. 🙂