I think it’s safe to say that most schools are back in session now. I always forget how hectic this time can be …… I know I’m not the only parent that tries to shove in too much at the very end of “summer” – which isn’t REALLY the end of summer, but sure seems like it because school starts. Doctor appointments, eye doctor, dentist – yes! Let’s schedule it during our last free week! School supplies … yes! Let’s wait until the few days before school starts, and let panic set in because it’s all sold out.
I always enjoy how the kids pop up super early that first day, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready 30 minutes early. Day 2 – we’re all dragging. And then comes the meetings – meet the teacher, sports meetings, sign-up sheets galore … I’m not complaining! It’s just that every year, it creeps up out of nowhere and hits me on the side of the head. Will I ever be prepared? Likely, no …. and that’s okay. I’m learning to roll with things, and I know I’m not alone!
I’ve got three of my own, ranging from 8 to 16, and my house sees the full spectrum of rule-following, self-motivation, laziness, partial-effort, and rule breaking. Every kid is different! I’m working full-time, so the club handles direct after school care and the older kids are in sports, so life is starting to hit the easy button, at least a little bit. I have 16 years of failed and successful routines in my head, and found a couple of good things online. These can also be applied to teens for when they walk through the door ….. Get your kids in a routine and make them do it. You’ll thank yourself later. I mean, I’m still saying all of this to my 13 and 8 year old, and I’ll keep saying it …..
• They need to put their items away. Shoes, coat, bag – don’t let it get piled on the table, because then you’ll start yelling while you’re spilling pasta sauce on their things!!
• If your child happens to bring papers home from school, like they’re supposed to (I have one that brings it all at the end of the year … no joke) – have a spot for them to dump those items. They don’t need to walk up to you and hand them to you while you’re doing ten other things and demand that you sign it now! They put them in the basket, you look through them and sign papers when you have a minute. Perfect!
• Wash those nasty hands. No need for explanation. So many germs, clean the hands.
• They should eat a snack, since many of them haven’t eaten since 11:00. Preferably not gummy worms.
• This next point, some people may dispute. I’ve had great success with kids doing homework as soon as they get home. Other times, there is no way in the world I’m going to make them sit still for another 30 minutes to do more classwork. I totally play that by ear. I think each child is different with this.
• Try to keep everything organized ….. It’s hard! I *TRY* to keep all school-related papers in a school folder, even if I just shove it in, so that I know where to look if I need to locate something (SO many papers!!!) ….. also, I have a school folder in my email for anything school-related to get tossed into. This includes payment receipts and emails from teachers that I can show my kids if I need to!
• I have found over the 16 years of parenting, and the many ups and downs that go along with it, that it’s always a good idea when things get too crazy to just stop and chat with your kid for a minute. Ask them how their day was. I often get “Fine. I don’t remember what we did.” But, occasionally, I’ll get a story or they’ll tell me something cool that they learned. Ask!
Hopefully this will help cut down on at least a small amount of madness! What school district are your kids in? Click HERE to see where we build! We have a new neighborhood r in the Mt. Vernon school district, The Boulders. Fill out our Customer Worksheet if you are interested in learning how to build your dream home!