Already another school year started in some places and will be in full swing across our great nation within the next few weeks. Are you ready? Are your children?
As a parent who worked full time while my three children attended, I remember well how hectic it can be trying to get back on some semblance of a schedule after summer break.
- Getting enough rest – I didn’t then and I don’t now know any child that wants to go to bed while the sun is still shining.
- A proper breakfast – sugar-laden cereal is not the answer. My kids used to be excited to see their friends again, they definitely didn’t need the sugar high … It’s also extremely difficult for the teachers.
- Lunch – Will they bring it or eat at school? What’s on the menu? Is it protein or carbs? Will it help keep them alert or make them sluggish and tired?
- Involved in sports or other activities – Do they have whatever clothes or instruments they need to participate?
- After school snacks – Peanuts, fruit, veggies like carrot sticks – just something to munch that’s good for them and will tide them over until the evening meal.
- Getting their homework done – Crucial for the children to do the lessons so they learn the concepts but also builds their self esteem when they do well. These children also tend to be happier.
I found that by having a schedule, I was able to keep up with things. Using one calendar with lots of space and different colors for each person, it was easier to see who had what scheduled and if there were any conflicts. This was posted front and center on the fridge. We have smart phones today, so I use Google and share calendars – again using different colors.
At the time I would get home after the kids (I really hated latchkey or even having someone else take care of them). They had their homework to work on and I normally checked it after dinner. I definitely had a menu and shopped accordingly – usually on a Saturday after I got the second load of clothes in the washer and the first in the dryer.
The kids learned early on about planning for the next day having their clothes set out and book bags near the door. Breakfast routine, grab lunch bag, pick up the bag and head to the car in record time every morning. We always tried to make Sunday our Church and family day so Saturday was packed with getting the house straight and ‘cleaned’ up. They learned how to sort clothes, wash windows (they could reach), dust, vacuum, mop floors, make beds etc. We would usually make it a game and see how quickly we could get it done. Most times, we were able to have it done in a couple of hours which gave us play time.
Today, I work at home which definitely offers time flexibility. My main issue is interruptions but I’m happy with those because it means I am here if needed and I know what they’re watching and who they’re with. The two main things that helped the most was using a schedule and menu planning. I do the same things now; however now I no longer worry about daycare and can go to the different functions working my internet business into my life – rather than my ‘job’ running my life.
If you have any tips or tricks that make your life easier, please share them.