It was a long summer filled with later bedtimes, mid-afternoon ice cream breaks, and casual outdoor play dates with the neighbours. Even if you followed a regular routine to get the kids out the door for camp or daycare, July and August were likely less rushed than September to June. Now that school’s in full swing we can look forward to juggling evening lessons with homework and dinner, making daily lunches, and early bedtimes. Your life suddenly got a whole lot busier, but we’ve got some tips to make your new routine more efficient and less stressful.
Organize for Morning Before Bed
Mornings can get crazy. Between the unexpected like realizing your kids don’t have a pair of fresh underwear or having to fish out rain boots due to a sudden downpour to the regular early morning temper tantrums, getting out of the house on time can sometimes feel like an impossible feat. Instead of organizing for the day while attempting to scarf down breakfast, get ready for the day the night before.
- Pack backpacks with any necessary clothing, homework, and signed forms. Place them by the front door.
- Pack a lunch and place it, ready to go in the lunch bag, in the fridge.
- Check the weather report to know whether the kids will need rain gear or extra layers.
- Choose outfits to wear, including socks and underwear.
- Wake up with enough time to get yourself ready first (at least an hour before heading out the door.)
- Help younger kids get dressed and make breakfast while older kids dress themselves.
- Serve and eat breakfast after everyone is changed and ready to go. This ensures that the most important meal of the day isn’t skipped and prevents delays.
- Leave the house with extra time to spare in case of forgotten homework or heavy traffic.
- Colour code different activities according to the person.
- Sync calendars to your smart phone or tablet so both parents can always see whether new events are added.
Give Plenty of Time in the Morning
Giving yourself plenty of time to get ready for the day and head out the door saves everyone’s sanity.
Create a Weekly Calendar
After-school activities, parent-teacher nights, work obligations, and chores can make for very busy schedules. Keep everything in check and everyone in the know by creating and posting a family calendar. Post this calendar in a high-traction area, like the kitchen, so the entire family can always see what’s going on every week at a glance.
Create a Homework Study Area
Homework adds to the hustle and bustle of daily life, but it’s a necessary component to our kids’ self-development. Whether you’re helping your kindergartner with reading and writing or overseeing your grade five daughter’s science project, providing a designated, quiet space will diminish distractions and increase concentration. Keep the space clutter-free and comfortable so your kids feel encouraged to work and designate the same time each day for homework to establish a regular routine.
Family life is busy, but sometimes it can feel like too much. If you find that you and/or the kids are feeling overly exhausted, it might be time to re-examine your schedule. Make a list of your current weekly commitments, outside of school and work, and remove anything that isn’t a high priority and doesn’t provide joy or benefits.
Now that we’re into September, family routines are busier. Keeping organized and focusing on the activities that are most important to you and your kids, including quality down time, will help keep your schedule efficient and less stressed