Back to School Scheduling Tips for Moms
One of the most difficult things about back to school is getting back on schedule. Everyone is used to the most laid-back time of year and pretty much no one wants to get up early. Regardless of how we may feel about it, back-to-school is coming and we are forced to face the scheduling nightmare that ensues. Fortunately, there are a number of things that we can do to make scheduling much easier. Here are some tips to get back-to-school scheduling on track from the get-go:
Don’t wait to the last minute
The biggest mistake that you can make is to wait to the last minute to make changes. Any change that is done suddenly is destined to be flawed. Getting up earlier? You need to be doing that at least a month out. Forcing your kids out of bed at the crack of dawn may be a pain in the neck, but it will save you a ton of hassle at the beginning of the school year. By starting well in advance, they will be much more alert and ready to learn as well.
Write it down
Writing down every single thing that your family is doing on a family calendar is essential. Everyone should have equal access to this calendar and should be fully aware of expectations. Begin training them on this well in advance of the school year. Make it a rule that anything not put in the calendar may or may not happen. If they want to be sure not to miss football practice, for example, they had best make sure it’s on the calendar. This habit of writing everything down will be beneficial for everyone down the road. A large dry erase board posted in a logical place works wonderfully for this.
Team up with others
Back to School also means back to activities for many families. If your children are active in clubs or sports, get to know the families of the other children. Having a group of parents who are all on the same page can be one of the most powerful benefits during the school year. Band together and share information, rides, equipment and anything else that you can. This will pay huge dividends over the course of the school career.
Organize all activities…or skip them
When you have multiple children doing multiple activities, things can get quite hairy. Know what you are and are not capable of and always make certain that your children understand those limitations. If they cannot be reasonably organized into the schedule, let your children know that they will need to find a way to make it work. This occasionally means missing out on some things, but that would be better than promising something you cannot fulfill. Do not overstretch what is reasonable.
Remember that family calendar I mentioned earlier? It is absolutely the centerpiece of making this work. Your family will undoubtedly buck you on this. Crack that whip and demand that they comply until they begin to do so on their own.
Add twenty minutes
When you write out your schedules, add 20 extra minutes to every single activity to give yourself a pad. You will be far better off with some extra moments to relax then you would be pushing it up to the minute. I also find I’m a better parent when I have the time built into my schedule to stop and comfort an upset child, or help a child who’s tired and struggling. Breathing room is good for all of us and while it may seem unnecessary it’s a great way to give yourself a little grace and make sure that you’re actually accomplishing the things that are the most important.
Adjust as you go
While sticking to a schedule is very important, it does not mean that you should ignore opportunities to soften it. Always be on the lookout for ways to make the schedule easier and tasks that you can combine. This can make your school year much more pleasant and keep you on point throughout the year.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on what works best for you, how do you stay on a schedule and stay organized during the busy school months?
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