Every year I try to provide a few tips that will hopefully make the school year run a bit more smoothly. Here we go....
1. SLEEP- Set wake up and bedtimes for yourself and your kids that provide everyone with a good amount of sleep. I have been told kids need 10-12 hours and adults should aim for 8.
2. ACCOUNTABILITY- Set out what everyone in the household is accountable for. Ask your kids what they are responsible for at school. If they can do it at school, they can do it at home! Don't forget to give others the opportunity to help.
3. PAPER- Deal with school papers (including art work), emails, planners, etc daily. Don't let it stack up. It won't magically disappear!
4. SUPPLIES- Don't go crazy with the back to school shopping. What does your child really need? Do not overload them with unnecessary and potentially unwanted items. Your child's teacher will let you know if they need supplies.
5. LABELS- Label everything no matter what age.
6. SMOOTH EXITS- Things seem to always come up just as you're leaving the house. Can't find a toy, library book, fight about outerwear, etc. Give your kids a reminder to make sure they have everything 10 mins before you have to leave. If this becomes a big issue consider organizing the issue items the night before with your child. Give yourselves lots of time to get out the door, especially with little ones.
7. CONNECT- Does your school have a website to connect to? A facebook page? A parent's facebook group? Connect.
8. HELP- Connect with other parents at the bus stop, school, and kid's activities. Exchange contact info. Don't be scared to ask for help. Chances are they are in the same boat as you. This was one of the best things I learned to do last year!
9. ACTIVITIES- Do not over schedule yourself or your kids. It's ok to say no.
10. MEALS- Keep it simple! Plan dinners the night before or morning of. Make double batches on the weekend and freeze for quick weekday meals. Are the kids old enough to help with meals? If so get them involved.
11. HOME- When life gets busy the cleanliness of your house can show it. Consider hiring help or breaking up the house cleaning by rooms so it is not so overwhelming. Tackling laundry, dishes, and paperwork everyday can really help. Involve the kids. It may not be perfectly done but that's how they will learn.
12. SCHEDULE- Keep a family calendar visible for all who need to see. This can be paper based or digital. Schedule in all activities, school events, library days and whatever else might be important for you. Review the calendar with the family Sunday nights so that everyone is aware of the week ahead. It is helpful for everyone to know what is going on, not just one person.
As always I hope you've found these tips helpful. I hope you and your families have a great upcoming school year!