In New York, we still have a few weeks before school is back in session. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t already anticipating it. If you are like so many parents I know, the school year is busy and hectic, and you feel like you can’t stay on top of it all. I’ve been there!
What if I told you that by making a few simple changes to your school year routine, this school year could be so much easier? It’s true! In today’s blog, I’m sharing some tips that any mom can do that will make this year better than the last. The key – plan ahead to stay ahead.
Use a Family Calendar
First, parents should take advantage of all the technology we have at our fingertips that are designed to make our lives easier, such as calendar and scheduling apps! Whether you use Google calendar or an app like Cozi, it is super easy to schedule all of your kid’s doctor’s appointments, after school activities, and important events.
Create a School Morning Routine
If your mornings are out of control, then it is time to put some structure back into your mornings. Have a clear list of “morning must-do’s” for your kids, such as “brush your teeth, get dressed, eat breakfast,” and stick to it! Print it out and frame it, or use a morning routine app.
Choose Clothing in Advance
You can really speed up your mornings if you have your kid’s (and your) clothing picked out in advance. I’ve seen some parents who use closet hangers to separate clothing by the day of the week. Find what works for you, but make sure the clothes are out before the school week begins.
Start Meal Planning
I know the words “meal planning” freak some people out. Don’t overthink it! Meal planning can be as simple as “Monday: Pork tenderloin and veggies, Tuesday: Spaghetti, etc.” The point is to have a basic idea of what your plans are for dinner, so you don’t have to rush around at the last-minute scrambling for something to cook.
Let the Kids Help Pack Their Lunches
Instead of doing everything by yourself, teach your kids to be a little more self-sufficient by letting them help pack their lunches. It’s easier than you imagine. Take the bottom shelf of your refrigerator and the bottom shelf of your pantry and designate these spaces for school lunch items.
Sign Things as Soon as They Appear
This is very simple, but it can be life-changing. Instead of seeing a paper you need to sign for your kids and putting it aside, stop what you are doing and sign it and put it back in the bookbag right away. Trust me – you just saved yourself a ton of future headache.
Don’t Feel Guilty About Throwing Stuff Away
Kids, especially preschool and elementary ages, bring home so much stuff. Endless amounts of art projects and coloring pages and worksheets. You cannot possibly hold on to everything – nor will your kids actually want all their work from kindergarten when they are grown.
So, let go of the guilt and toss everything except the really special things. Or, take pictures of all their artwork and upload the pics to one photobook at the end of the school year. One photobook is so much better than a bazillion pieces of construction paper.
Sign Kids Up for After School Activities
Don’t wait until the last minute to sign your kids up for after school activities. If you do, the spots at the best place may already be filled. Instead, spend the last few weeks of summer doing your homework and get your kids signed up in advance.