School brings on a great deal of emotions for everyone. My niece came over yesterday and told me that there was absolutely NOBODY in her class that she was friends with and she got ALL the bad boys who got in trouble all the time. That’s enough to cause some anxiety.
But let’s be frank. School time exaggerates many of our emotions. Perhaps its that we remember feeling nervous ourselves. How will our children feel about their teacher? Their classmates? Their homework? How will our children deal with getting up in the morning? Going to sleep at night? Their schedule?
Yup. Their schedule. Sometimes you probably feel like your child’s palm pilot. And if you’re not mapping every moment out, the day can get away from you. (Want to see a serious back to school schedule? See this from the New York Times )
Some things to figure out with your children, spouse, and family.
- Who’s doing what? Laundry? Packing bags? Making sure items are signed? Carpool?
- What’s on the schedule every day? Every week? Every month?
- Where does everyone need to be before school? After school? On the weekends?
- When does everything take place?
- How is everyone getting where they need to go?
A large family calendar is necessary.
Three tricks I give to my coaching clients:
- 5 minute clean up: Desks, bedrooms, and homework spots can become a mess in no time. During the 5 minute clean up, set your stop watch, microwave, or other timer and have everyone clean up their space. When they do that everyday, it really only takes 5 minutes to maintain.
- KatieCheck: This is named after my friend Katie, who I traveled Europe with for my Junior Year Abroad at Oxford University. Before we left any country, any train station, and hostel, or any restaurant, Katie would check the area to make sure we didn’t leave anything. It is now ingrained in my head and part of my family’s agenda before we leave a space. Make sure your children do a KatieCheck before leaving their school locker, desk, or home to make sure they have everything they need.
- Checklist: I like to put these in a very obvious place—like the front door. You can also use a chalk board or dry erase board. Write, for example; Do you have… Your soccer cleats? Homework for math? Gym clothes? Permission slip? This can be written at night after dinner or on Sunday before the week has gotten underway. Every child can have his own checklist or chalkboard. As your children get older, they should be in charge of compiling and writing up their own checklist.
What are your tricks? Please share here or on our Facebook Fan Page!