The school year starts off in a few weeks. It’s a mad dash from August to June with dates, activities, homework, dinner and more. As parents we are striving for a level of organization and sanity. These three back to school tips will make your year more organized and less chaotic.
Weekly planning time
Most of your kids invitations and information comes in through email and websites. It’s hard to consolidate it. Weekly planning time gives you the opportunity to search through email, school sites, teacher sites and other spots where that information is shared. Gather up your family calendar and task list, as well as a beverage of choice, and spend an hour gleaning information. It’s also helpful to sit with your middle and early high school students and make a weekly grid of their homework and after school activities.
Choose your calendar that works best for you. If you love paper planners, use a paper planner. You can always shoot a photo and share it with your family. Cozi and Google calendar offer online real time access for everyone in your family. If you like auditory reminders, set your online calendar and “invite” your family for them to receive alerts too. Use what works best for you!
There may be some eye rolling, especially from your spouse, when you mention a family meeting. You can call it the family huddle, gathering time or whatever you prefer. Hosting a time when everyone shares calendar events and family activities makes family efforts run smoother. There are always last minute things like baking cupcakes and purchasing poster board. But there will be fewer emergencies when you share during a family time.
It’s hard to find a good time to meet after you are back to school. It’s in finding what works for your family that will make hosting your family meeting happen. Some families sit together after church on Sunday. Some families meet at 5 pm each Sunday. Decide when you can consistently meet and get started. It’s good to make this pay day for allowances too.
Family time together can never be undervalued. A shared meal is the time for us to share our thoughts and feelings. But how to overcome all those distractions? Be realistic about your options. Even if there is only one time a week, set that expectation. Dinner time should be a no tech time for everyone, including parents.
Try something new this year for family dinner conversations. This dinner conversation jar is filled conversation starters. It’s a fresh take on that same old conversation.
Wishing you and your family the best start to the best back to school ever!