I’m finding it hard to believe that August is already here! In just a few short weeks, students will be on their way back to the classroom. Honestly, where did the summer go?
If your family is anything like my family, the summer tends to be a bit more “laid back” than the rest of the year. We don’t really follow any routines, schedules, etc. We simply take it day by day and, at times, minute by minute. The summer time is our time to just take it easy.
But when the school year arrives, the “laid back” family attitude changes. Out of necessity, our routines return, and organization becomes a “must”. Without organization and routines, chaos ensues. Before you can blink, you find yourself in the middle of a stressed-filled life. Truth be told, being organized and sticking to a routine, will not only help your family live a healthier lifestyle, but you will also greatly reduce the stress that can so easily consume you during the busy-ness of the school year.
So today, let me share with you some of my top tips that will allow you and your family to make a smooth transition into the new school year!
* Meal Planning: I don’t know about you, but I have found myself making multiple grocery store runs in a given week or deciding at the last minute to eat out because we either (a) had nothing to eat at the house or (b) didn’t defrost the food that was needed for dinner. I don’t find pleasure in either of the these scenarios. Eventually, I became weary of making multiple trips to the grocery store and wasting money on eating out. I found that unplanned grocery runs seemed to cause further chaos.
As a family, we finally decided that a meal schedule may be beneficial. Every Saturday my husband and I wake up and take stock of groceries we need for meals the following week. We lay out what our meals will be for each day of the week (this includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and yes, dessert) and then write down the needed ingredients. Then, we head out and purchase what we need for that week only.
What’s so nice about this is that we are no longer left at home scratching our heads wondering “what’s for dinner.” We have a schedule in place that keeps us living a healthy lifestyle. As an added bonus, we found that meal planning seems to be much easier on the pocketbook. Organizing this one area has given us more family time.
* Weekly Schedule Meeting: Another “weekly routine” that our family takes part in is scheduling the upcoming week’s activities. Any parent that has children in the home knows and understand that “weekly activities” can soon take over your life if you are not careful. These activities can include school activities, sports, drama, meetings, etc.
Why not take some time every Sunday to plan out and focus on the upcoming week? Get all activities, practices, games, meetings, etc. on a master schedule so that there are no last minute surprises? Taking 30-minutes at the beginning of the week to schedule activities will save you many headaches during the week.
* Morning Routine: For many families, the mornings tend to be the most chaotic. Trying to get kids out of bed, dressed, fed and ready for school can take a toll on any family that doesn’t have some routines set in place.
One week prior to school starting, why not start getting your family’s bodies in “gear” by having everyone wake up at the time they will be getting up for school? You can also have them get dressed and eat breakfast just as they would before they head out to school. Getting a morning routine in place will no doubt allow everyone to start the day off on the right foot and with a happy smile.
* Afternoon Routine: Do you know what your afternoons will look like once the kids get home from school? Do you have a snack, homework, chore schedule set-up? If not, let me encourage you to do so. Here’s an example of one that seems to work well for many families:
4:00-4:30: Snack Time
4:30-5:30: Homework Time
5:30-6:00: Mom or dad checks homework
6:15-7:00: Dinner Time!
7:00-7:20: Help clean up kitchen
7:30-7:45: Bath time!
8:00-8:30: Lay out clothes for the following day, pack back pack, make lunch.
8:45-9:00: Bed Time!
Truth be told, having a routine in place will help create a healthier, stress free lifestyle for you and your family. The key to making all of this work is being realistic about what you can and can’t do. Every family’s routine will look different; develop one that works for you and your family. It may take some time to get it down, but that’s ok….just keep working at it until you find that perfect set-up that works for you!
When you have a free moment, why not come share with me on the Give College Fan Page, what you and your family do to transition into the school year smoothly. Do you have a “unique routine” that your family takes part in? I would love to hear from you!
PS-Did you hear about our Cutest Baby Contest that is taking place now?! Click HERE for all the details!