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Five Parents Survival Tips for the new School Year!
Let's face it the hazy days of summer are coming to an end and school is just around the corner! In my world this bittersweet event harkins the arrival of THE CHAOS! The battle of getting two kids up and ready for school, out the door on time to make it to work, trying to get to 3 different places, sport practices, homework and the list goes on! All I can say is "Quick get the anxiety meds!"
I have found over the years that there is more to getting your kids ready for school than new clothes and lunch boxes. You have to have a good game plan. This is key to taming the 180 days of CHAOS!
First and foremost get Yourself ready before school starts. This applies to anyone and everyone, whether you work full time, part time, home school or a stay at home mom! I have found over the years that even though your kids time may be scheduled during the summer it is often a schedule of your choosing.
However, when schools starts it is someonelse's schedule you have to keep. I have found that putting myself on the schedule I keep during the school year two weeks before hand really helps to get me in shape for the new year. For example, I get up at 6am instead of when my kids get up. I get myself ready for the day like I would during the school year. Even though this is a giant pain in the a....I find it is so much better than the first day of school scramble half asleep, and looking like a crazed maniac.
Second tip is to make a game plan. At the beginning of each and every school year I buy two new calendars that become my BFF's. I always buy a big desk size calendar, the ones with really big squares, and hang it up inside my pantry door. I also, buy a new pocket calendar as well. My family can tell you that the Calendar is king. The first thing I put in and on the calendar is all set and known dates and times. Like, sport practices, games, days off from school etc. This has been invaluable to me since my work schedule can change at the drop of the hat. It also gives everyone a good visual as to what is up coming so too many things don't get schedule at one time.
My third tip is organization. This is the hardest and yet imperative to managing the CHAOS! I will admit this is my biggest challenge but when I stay on top of it really does save time and sanity. For example, lunch making in my house every day normally ends up resembling a armed conflict. My kids forget their lunch boxes and thermoses in the car or backpack, ice packs aren't frozen etc.
This became such a traumatic event every morning I instigated the rule of you can't come inside until you have your lunchboxes in your hands. Once, inside my children are each responsible for their own lunch items. Bowls, thermoses and silverware, must be put in the sink and ice packs in the freezer and lunchboxes on the counter. This year, I plan on having them to start their lunches when they get home by putting in new silverware and non-perishable items.
Another, big issue in my house is the lost homework and shoe event that occurs every morning. This is where once again organization is key. Make sure your kids, once they are done with their homework put it back in their book bags right away and hang them on your front door. As for the missing shoes, I have also tied them to the door knob so that they can be found.
My fourth tip is list making. Towards the end of last school year, I took the advice of my cousin and started making lists. She makes lists for everything! And much as I hate lists, I do like the sense of accomplishment I get from crossing something off. I found making lists of chores that need to be done during the week (above and beyond normal household stuff) and making an appointment with the said chore. This really helps. Planning your meals for the week not only helps you to tame the dinner rush but helps you to make you grocery list. This one has saved me so much stress, money and time (when I remember to do it) that I can't say enough about it.
My last tip is this plan is like a New Year's Resolution! We all start out great at the beginning of the school year and slowly but surely fall off the wagon! The above four tips will help to keep the chaos at bay provided you do step five which is KEEP DOING STEPS 1-4! Part of getting yourself ready for the new school year is make a pledge to you and yours to be ready, know what is going on by using a calendar, being organized and make lists. You will thank yourself and so will others. Have a great school year!