How to Beat that Back to School Rut
Every year summer comes to an end, and one particular thing pops into mind … school is about to be in full swing. I don’t know about you, but the mere thought of anything school related gets me anxious as all get out! The summer has had its crazy moments with the kids being home making this mom ready for some organization (and quiet time). What I am not ready for is all the homework, earlier mornings and bedtimes. I am not completely a rookie to this whole ‘school-aged’ child thing. This year, my oldest will be entering into first grade, and my middle child will be entering kindergarten. With the completion of this past school year, I made sure to take a mental note of all things successful for this family.
Get that routine started
First, life always seems better once we all get on board with a new school routine. Routines are my life saver. This is not just because I have a Type A personality. (Well, maybe a little.) Summer is the time to let loose and put all those strict schedules to the side. This can not be the case while school is in full session. Having the entire family on a schedule will keep things running smoothly and less chaotic. So what exactly do I mean by a schedule? I try to have the kids wake up and go to bed around the same time during the week. An after school schedule starts with a snack and homework. I also try to have dinner served around the same time during the week. I say ‘around the same time’ because lets face it, things happen. Bed time routines are based on dinner. In this case, I would much rather an earlier dinner than a later dinner for sure!
Now for those morning and bedtime routines. Blah! May I add another ‘Blah!’ here?! These always get me at the start of the school year. Who wants to wake up earlier and go to bed earlier? No one in this house, and that is more than the truth. We carpool in the morning, so this gives them a little extra time. I give both my kids an hour to be ready for school, most of the time is spent waking them up. To be honest, this is the worst part of the morning. My kids wake up, get dressed and eat breakfast before we pack up. Then off to school. As for bed time, this is the most difficult for my family. My kids ABSOLUTELY despise bedtime. We start our bed time routine with a bath, which follows shortly after dinner. My kids have to have a chance to unwind. A lot of unwinding to be exact. Reading books before bedtime works great too! What bed time is best for our family? We aim for 8-8:30pm. Again, notice the word aim. Got to give some room for forgiveness.
Meal planning can be a life saver
Thirdly, meal planning. I know this seems a bit extreme, but I promise it has been a life saver. Planned meals save time during the week. Best planned meal, Taco Tuesday! Meal planning can be so simple. I have the majority, if not all, of the items needed for dinner a head of time. The week is less chaotic not having to stress what is for dinner the day of. I am not a fan of running around the kitchen like the chef on The Little Mermaid, hectically throwing stuff in a pot! The majority of my meal ideas come straight from Pinterest. Of course, I check to see the reviews before I go for them. Nobody has time for a Pinterest fail at dinner time!
A reward system
Lastly, I use a reward system to accomplish some of the daily tasks. Homework and morning/bedtime routines done without complaining deserve a token. These tokens can be used on Sundays or saved up for a ‘bigger’ prize at the Dollar Tree or Target. This will teach them that good behavior does get notice. My kids look forward to these tokens and spending them. I am all about whatever works most days, and these tokens work. Mom survival mode at its best!
I hope your school year has been off to a great start. If you haven’t implemented a school year routine, no better time than now! Implementing a schedule after school is in session makes it easier to know what all is to be expected. Do you have any tips that help make the school year run more smoothly? If so, this momma would love any extra tips!