Tips for the New School Year

The summer has come to an end and it is time for school to start tomorrow. I can’t believe how quickly time flies! Of course, I don’t have a child in school, so not too much will change around here expect for now I will be watching three adorable boys two days a week because their mom is going back to school (she is a teacher). So instead of having a three day weekend every weekend- we are back to getting up early, making lunches, and getting back on a schedule!

I have to admit, I LOVE summer. I like not having a set schedule. I love sleeping in. I love spending quality time with my little peanut- AKA- Maggie. But on the other hand, there are pros to having a schedule! I love lists, I love my days to be planned out, I love ROUTINE! I really, really love routine. I am not a “fly by the seat of my pants kinda person”….at all!! I love my dry erase calendar that is hanging on my refrigerator. I always get a little happy picking out the color I will use for that month on the calender when filling in our schedules and events. And with it being the beginning of September AND the beginning of the school year, we have a lot of things to pencil…I mean dry erase marker…in on our calendar.

The beginning of the school year is a time to start a clean slate. So here are a few tips on how to get on a schedule- but not overwhelm yourself:

1. Decide when you will get ready for school.
Do you want to wake up a half hour early in the morning and get book bags together, sign papers, make lunches, etc? Or do you want to do it the night before? If you are a morning person- definitely get up before the kiddos do- turn on the news in the background and get everything ready for the day. If you are a “snooze button” type of person- I suggest doing it the night before. You will be happy you did when you can get a few extra minutes of shut eye.

2. Make a pact to be five minutes early. 
Lets not start the first day of school off with your child running after the bus as it pulls away because you just couldn’t get out the door on time. If you have to- set your clock forward 5-10 minutes like I do. That way you will definitely be early. Also, try to make a pact with yourself- you WILL be on time even after the first week of school. I know I sometimes start out great and then after a few weeks start to get up a little later and get to work a little late. Make a pact that you will be on time even when it gets hard. It’s time to turn over a new leaf.

3. Get the kids involved- but not too involved! 
It’s almost fall- which means you will be taking Johnny to soccer, Jayne to dance class, Joey to Fall Ball, and Janice to swim lessons. It is AWESOME to have your kids involved in extra curricular activities. It is a great way to have them make friends, stay active, and work on skills that they are good at. However, do not overwhelm your family. If you have something going every single night of the week- it’s too much! Limit the kids to one or two activities that they love the most. You are not a taxi service- and in order for you to stay a tight-knit family you actually have to see each other every now and then. Make sure you have a few nights a week where you are still able to sit down around the table and eat together. As they said in the “Godfather,” “A man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man.”

4. Get er’ done.
When the kids get home- make homework a priority. Give them a few minutes to grab a snack, talk about their day, and unwind, and then jump into their homework right away. What they learned is still fresh in their heads and if they don’t do it right away, they may forget. In other countries, kids go to school for 12 hours a day- I promise, doing their homework as soon as they get home will not kill them.

5. Take time to listen.
Take time to listen to your kids as they talk about their day at school. Treasure the moments when your kids go on and on and on about something silly that happened on the playground. Cherish these moments because you will blink and they will be graduating- yes, it goes that fast!

Hopefully these few tips will help your family stay organized as we jump into the new school year. I am excited about the things to come!

Sincerely,
Ali

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56 thoughts on “Tips for the New School Year

  1. We just retired from 15 years of homeschooling. We still had to do all these things at least one day a week when heading out for group classes or activities. Now my kids are in college but still living at home and we still are dealing with #1-4 but more them than me 🙂 #5… as someone who has graduated two children, I can't emphasize enough how important it is to take time EVERY DAY to listen to your children. They do grow up very fast.
    bethany@teachingnook.com

  2. These are great tips, especially not taking on too much and limiting extra-curriculars. It's hard to say no but at one point my son was doing martial arts and soccer and tournament team so we had to make a choice because 6 days a week was too much. He decided that he'd give up soccer until he could play for the school team so now everyone is a bit less stressed and able to enjoy the activites we still do.

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