Mommy Tips: Back To School Part 1

The new school year is just around the corner for most of us here in Michigan, but some of you have already been in school for a week or more.  As we are getting ready in our household for Mr. Man to go to Pre-K five afternoons a week {plus handling all the behind the scenes work at the school myself}, I thought it was an opportune time to talk about getting back into the school routine.

As I pondered which approach I wanted to take in my posts I thought about my old co-worker, Jill Sadler.  When we worked together we were a dynamic team.  I could always look to her for advice, finishing a task I couldn’t complete, taking the initiative in something that I didn’t have the creative juices for, or even just making sure that I stopped to eat or drink during the day.  Jill is one of those friends that I haven’t seen in a few years because our schedules just don’t match up well, but she is also one of those friends that we can start right back up where we left off and it isn’t weird or anything.  It just works.

Please enjoy our collaborated effort over the next few days with some Back to School advice and tips:

First, meet Jill:

How and why do I know what I do, enough to assure you that what I say is true?

Because I said so. Sound familiar?

I have an early childhood development from Oakland Community College. I used to teach Pre-School with Miss Amy for a few years. Currently I am a household manager for a busy family- and this is where I experience the in’s and out’s of parenting and child development beyond the early years. It may feel like longer, but I am only a couple short years away from finalizing my elementary education degree with a double major in Social Studies and Language Arts.

So I’ve nannied, taught, tutored and mentored kids from the ages of birth to sixteen, and truly believe in the family unit first and foremost. As a teacher in the future I plan to lend my support to families as much as possible, and in the mean time I am grateful to serve the family that adds more to my life than I could ever verbalize.

Now is that time of year that we know we’re scheduled to implement new routines, new rules, and we’re worried about our kids reaction to those new routines and whether or not we can keep them up throughout the year.

Well, let me assure you of two things I know.

1) Kids thrive on routine–they will not resent you for it.

2) If you’re diligent about the routine in the first few months of the year, the rest of the months will follow easier even if some minor tweaks occur.

Whenever you do deviate from the plan, it’ll be easier to pick it up the next day if you’ve truly established your expectations. What do we mean by routine? Well, bedtimes, bath times, study time, lunch making (who does it, who helps, when you do it, etc), rules about tv and computer time, the rules about friend time in regard to homework, and all of these things are even more important when you take into account extracurricular activities.

If there’s been a new healthy idea you’ve been wanting to try with your family, now is the time to do it. Its like Christmas time for the organization and resolution fairy. The good news is; whatever does unwind a little by the middle of the year gives you the opportunity to make family goals when the new year starts, goals about finishing up your year successfully!

Talk about your individual and collective goals at a family meeting. If you have kids that are too small to vote on this, the good news is you can choose for them. It may even be especially helpful to have these goals in a visual format for the family to see and recall upon, sort of like a vision board. Your thoughts become your reality.

So since you have a whole lot of planning to do and a whole bunch to implement, its best if you don’t wait until the day school starts to try. Have a family meeting, and get your bath and bedtime schedules going a week or two before school starts to ensure the best success rate.

Good luck to you all- and another thriving school year!!

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