20 July 2011

Surviving the School Year With Ease

Summer is in full swing, but depending on where you live, school will be starting in as soon as a few weeks.  The signs are everywhere, I've been to Target twice this week and have avoided the Back to School section for sanity's sake.  I'd rather stay in the summer mindset for as long as possible.

However, Back to School time is out there.  It is approaching more quickly than my boys like to think.  Every year, before school starts, I like to get a game plan in mind.  I want to be as organized as possible and get off to the right start so that we can survive the daily grind with poise.  Or, at least appear that way.

First, I designate a place for the four boys to put their backpacks when they get home from school each day.  Before they even wash their hands (a must when they get home) they are to empty the backpacks of anything needed for homework and anything that I need to see/sign/return.  Backpacks should be organized and cleaned out at least once per month in order to avoid being overwhelmed by clutter.  Encourage kids with lockers to keep anything they don't need at home, at school secured in their locker.  There are some very cool locks out there, like this one from Master Lock.

And watch this fun video: 
And find out more at their facebook page: www.facebook.com/masterlock

My kids have a set time for homework.  It isn't the same time for each of them but each boy knows his time and we stick to it.  I find it works best to have a little down time after school for a snack and brain refreshment and then have them get to the homework sooner than later, so that the time does not get away from us.  Usually 30 minutes to an hour of downtime is good.

Finally, a set time to get ready for bed and a set time for lights out is crucial to having a successful school year.  There are charts, like this Sleep chart, that tell you the approximate amount of sleep that each age group requires.  These are a good place to start to gauge what time your children should turn out their lights and you can work back from there.  My seven year old and three year old start getting ready for bed at 7:15.  The seven year old can read from the time he gets in bed until 8:00, when he shuts off his light.  My three year old shuts of his light when I leave the room after our book, song and prayers.  My 10 year old starts getting ready for bed at 8:45 and his lights out is 9:30.  13 year old, Zack, goes upstairs at 9:20 and his lights out is 10:00.

A good night's sleep makes everything else in the home run more smoothly.

These seemingly simple steps really will help make your family life easier during this school year.

No comments:

Post a Comment