Ah, it’s that time of year again. Time to trade flip-flops for loafers, swimsuits for jeans, and picnic baskets for backpacks. The scene is so familiar: the mom skipping from the bus stop with glee, the dad clinging tightly to his baby girl, that he has to walk into school, the child cheerfully running toward the school doors, and the kid who you have to leave, and run, or he’ll follow. Yes, back-to-school time is here.
It seems that priorities will quickly fall into place and balance will be restored, since the kids will be “out of the house.” However, the opposite is true. Now it’s time to coordinate homework, PTA meetings, sports practice, clubs, attending school activities, making lunches, preparing clothes, and the list really does go on, and on, and on.
There’s only one surefire solution to face the onslaught of madness head-on, organization.
What exactly does that mean, you ask? It can be easier than it sounds. With a few simple steps, you can achieve some semblance of balance and structure in your household, as you all prepare to go your separate ways throughout the day.
1) Have a main family schedule.
The schedule should be centrally located at home. Our schedule is on our refrigerator. I fill it out before the month starts on our computer. It is complete with the times of all the known commitments for the upcoming month. I use a different font color for each family member. At a glance, I can see what each person has planned for the upcoming day/week/month. When scheduling an appointment or a mandatory meeting comes up, we can all view at a glance, the conflicts that may exist. I have a copy of the calendar saved on my cell phone, because I never know when I’ll need it.
2) Prepare as much as possible the night before.
This applies to anything you can prepare in advance, including kids’ lunches, clothes for the day, packed backpacks, paperwork, and even breakfast (as much as you can).
The morning, and subsequently the remainder of the day, runs more smoothly when you’re not rushing and stressing.
3) Have a time to reconnect.
This time is very important for our family. Each week, we have a standing date for “Family Night.” Sometimes due to scheduling conflicts, we’ve had to change the time or even the day, but we make sure to schedule quality family time every week. We have family devotional time, talk about what’s going on with us, and make sure to have some fun. With such busy and demanding lives outside of the home, we make sure to stay connected.
Although this year our family is forging an uncharted path, and are excited about homeschooling, we will still have to employ these principles to keep the “ship” running smoothly. I’m wishing you all well, as you prepare for the upcoming adventure!