Friday, August 17, 2007

Keeping Your Sanity As A New Year School Year Starts

Keeping Your Sanity As A New Year School Year Starts
By Angela Wenke

Like a lot of you mother’s right now, my kids are putting the finishing touches on getting ready for the new school year. Checking their backpacks to make sure they have everything ready for school. Pondering over what outfit to wear on that first day, and where their classes are located. As this week has progressed I have realized, not only does the kids going back to school stress me out but my kids also. So I thought I would share some great tips to help you keep your sanity while we try to get back into the swing of school life again.

It is that time of year again where we have to role out our appointment books to mark all the children’s after school activities, and the kids school schedules and the parent and teacher meetings. Sometimes it can seem very overwhelming, especially when you have more than one child to get ready for the school year.

One of the biggest tips I have learned through trial and error in raising my children, is being organized is an absolute must, While I was doing all the school supply shopping for own kids, I also purchase a few items to help me keep track of our lives to help me keep my sanity.

Items we purchase:
Purse size agenda or calendar
Wall Mount Calender
Dry Erase Markers and Eraser

One of the best tools we have in our home is our Wall mounted calendar in our kitchen, With this calendar we keep track of the kids sports and games, early dismals or school meetings and so much more. I keep a small dish on our counter top with four colored dry erase markers in it, Each person is assigned a color so if they need to add activity to our calendar we knew who’s writing it was. Every Sunday I will take my purse size calendar and compare it to the Wall Mounted Calender so I know that our calendars match and I know where I have to be for each day of the upcoming week.
Next to our Calender I have Two paper hanging on my wall that show my girls chores charts for the week. Now my girls are 10 and 15 so obvisouly they have more chores than a child say starting kindergarten., But I have learned through running my own home daycare and also teaching preschool that a child from the age of 4 years and older should have a chore chart to help your child feel a sense of responsibility. When my children come home they immediately grab themselves a snack and rest for a short period then it is off to chores and homework. They know if they plan on playing with the neighborhood kids or visiting friends that the chores and homework have to be completed first.

Another tradition we have developed in our home is to set aside two nights a week that is strictly FAMILY NIGHT which I know can be hard in a busy household. Especially with everyone running in different directions, but on family night not only do we all eat together and discuss the days events but afterwards we either watch a movie together or play a board game or go for a walk. Just to allow us time to connect together as a family at least for couple nights out of the week.
On the weekends I try to plan our menu for the week according to what our schedule looks like, this not only helps in our grocery shopping by allowing us to only buy the items we will be needing instead of ton of extra junk food but this also allows me a easy to look at menu to see what I will be cooking for each night. Now there are times where we may switch a meal to a different night but the menu is a nice outline for our family, If I plan on having any meals that are very time consuming I tend to prepare the meals on the weekends, this helps me out a great deal. So that I am not rushing to prepare dinner right after the kids get home, but I can sit down and chat with them about their day they just had.

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