OK, I admit it. Last year I was so wiped out after the first day of school that I dropped my husband and kids off at a back-to-school party and checked myself into a hotel. I’m not proud of it, but it was necessary at the time.
I used to think summer was the toughest part of the year, but with the sudden shift back to early mornings, various schools, sports, activities, appointments, and homework, adjusting to the school year can be just as challenging, at least, for me.
In fact, between trying to get kids to bed on time, mountains of paperwork and school supply shopping, the first week (or day) alone can zap my sanity!
I know that, as the parent, I am responsible to keep us all sane, and I’ve learned the hard way that, in order for that to happen, I need a back-to-school sanity plan. Over the years, I’ve boiled it down to seven strategies, which when followed will ensure a successfully sane school-year for my family and me. I hope my seven strategies will help make your school year a little more sane too!
1) Write down your top five priorities for the school year. Perhaps this year you need more family togetherness, or more focused study time with the kids. Perhaps you need to loosen up a bit, or maybe you need to tighten the reins.
What are your top five priorities for the school year? For me, getting my family together for dinner, prayer, and family night is my main focus this year, whereas when they were younger, getting them out and entertained took top priority.
Things certainly do change, so make it a habit to check in on what matters most at the start of each year.
2) Get organized. 1) Create an area to keep all school-related papers, homework, and projects. We have a desk in our kitchen with two cubbies where I keep papers and to-be-completed work. Completed homework goes in the child’s backpack, in our “mudroom,” where each kid has a cubby for backpacks, jackets, and shoes. Whatever your system, having one place for everything helps everyone stay on top of things.
2) Set up a calendar and write everything down. I know, I always hated “day-planners” and “calendars,” but with a large family, I need them. I have a personal calendar on my phone, and a corkboard calendar in the kitchen for the family. They not only help my kids and me stay on top of things even when I’m not home, but writing it down clears my mind of clutter…
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