The beginning of the new school season is exciting, but chaotic. After a relaxing and less-stressed summer, once that bell rings for the first day back to school, the daily grind is right back in action and parents feel the heat. There are appointments, scheduling, pick-ups and drop offs, after-school activities, tutors, sports games, rehearsals… you name it. There’s a lot to do and most of the execution relies on the parents.
Don’t let the mayhem make back-to-school season a drag. Make the most of these tips and you will find that the school year can be well-planned and less stressful than you anticipated. Sure, school season is more serious than the breeziness of summertime, but with some order and structure, you can make this time of year fun for all.
Pre-Prep the Night Before
The morning before a school day is probably the busiest. You are pressed for time to get everyone ready for the day and out the door in a timely fashion. If one thing falls off schedule, the whole morning can become a crisis. Plan ahead by picking out the kids’ clothing the night before and lay it out in their room. Bathe the kids at nighttime so they can simply rinse off and brush their hair and teeth come morning. Pack snacks and lunches when you make dinner and ask the kids what they want for breakfast so you can have it ready for them in the morning. Make sure the kids’ backpacks are ready to go and all homework is completed. The more you can do in the evening, the easier the AM rush will be. Heck, you may even be able to press snooze on the alarm clock!
Do Homework Right Away
Most kids want to play right when they get home from school, but the longer you wait to do homework, the more it will interfere with the evening schedule and it can even linger into the wee hours of the morning before school. Get into the habit of having a quick after-school snack and digging right into homework while the kids are still in learning mode. Then the rest of the afternoon and evening is free for entertainment and relaxation. There won’t be that nagging thought of homework on anyone’s mind and the kids will enjoy the freedom of being done with work as early as possible. This will also teach the kids to never procrastinate and understand that free time comes when the work is complete.
Make a Calendar
With all the meetings, activities, playdates, etc. the kids will have during the school year, keeping track of it all in your head is a recipe for disaster. Use a basic calendar and color code for each child or type of activity. Use a paper one you can hang on the fridge or set reminders on your smartphone or computer so you never miss a parent-teacher conference, tennis lesson, or bake sale. Even if the calendar is only a back-up method, it will give you peace of mind that you have all your ducks in a row, so to speak.
Do you have any tips to share with the AMC community? We’d love to share your tips for busy parents now that the back-to-school season has arrived.
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By: Melissa A. Kay