Back to school means getting back into schedules, activities and getting to school on time. It is hard to do, especially after summer. One of the most important parts of back to school is getting back or getting going on good routines. Routines are the consistent, every day ways of getting things done that make life easier. Try out these routines this fall, starting them the third week of August, so that by the first day of school you are already in the groove.
- Have a set schedule for homework and other chores. Designate a little time for down time, and then start on homework in the late afternoon. The later you start homework, the longer it takes. Decide on what chores are done on what days and post a chart so everyone is on board with this plan.
- Use power periods to get homework done. Instead of 2 hours straight, break your homework time into 15,30 or 45 minutes of work and 5 minutes of walking around, getting a drink,texting friends or taking a very short break. Your kids will be more efficient if they know that the homework needs to be done in 45 minutes.
- All kids and parents need planners and calendars. Host a family meeting each week to write in on a month at a glance calendar what upcoming and regular events are going on. Include even the weekly activities, like ballet, football or other kids and parent activities. You can use the google calendar or Cozi.com if you are a techie, and print the calendar to post too. Kids bring their planners too to fill in so everyone is modeling and practicing how to use their planners.
- Set a bed time for the kids and parents. Well rested kids do better in school. Well rested parents are more productive. Set alarm clocks for everyone to get up and get going.
Take a good look at the big picture and what you want this year to be for your family. At your family meeting, have everyone talk about this and share. Also think through over scheduling. Be realistic about what your kids participate in and your commitment. Being involved is a positive, but being over involved can cause stress and frustration.