Grand Plans for Back to School Time
Friday, August 5, 2011

Kids are back to school in less than three weeks!

I have grand plans of keeping my family organized and happy during our before and after school routines. We'll see how it May of last school year our mornings were pretty frenzied and not at all fun.  So as I think about this year, this is what I would like to accomplish:

For before school:

- Prepare their clothes and pack their lunches THE NIGHT BEFORE. (self-talk: "JUST DO IT WOMAN!  FOR THE LOVE! HOW HARD IS IT?!?!")

- Start getting up early enough to have myself psuedo-ready before the kids wake up.

- Prepare a decently healthy and hearty breakfast.  (Note:  Find healthy breakfast stuff they'll actually eat.)

- Institute a consistent spiritual moment before school; whether a quick prayer together, a scripture reading, listening to a snippet of a podcast during breakfast, or some combination thereof.

For after school:

- Maintain a consistent after school chore routine.

- Keep the "backpack" area free of clutter and train kids to actually use this area for their backpacks.

- Train them to empty their lunch bags when they get home from school so I'm not frantically washing lunch containers the next morning.

- Deal with school paperwork quickly before it takes over and buries us all alive.

- Allow them a quick snack and one TV show to decompress before then beginning reading assignments and homework.

Ahhh...if only I could be "that mom" as I've described above, instead of the constantly hurried and frazzled mom that I actually am most days.  I am going to give it my best effort people! How long does it take to form a habit?  Maybe if I aim to live this way thru September, then by October it will be routine.....

Here are some fun crafts projects I've seen to help kickstart the organization efforts:

A Checklist Place Mat via Family Fun:

A Homework Station via Roots and Wings Co:

I suppose I should kick off these grand organization plans by not waiting until the weekend before school starts to buy the supply lists.....Sigh.  Off to fight the crowds in the folder aisles!


Blogger Greg or Cheri had this to say:

This is impressive. And motivational. And timely, thanks! I hadn't given the routines a thought and my kids are back in a week. Great reminder to get purposeful.

August 6, 2011 at 3:03 PM 

Blogger Jessica had this to say:

I adore the place mat. If only the youngest could read... Maybe this would give him practice.

August 7, 2011 at 3:52 PM 

Blogger Starr had this to say:

Jessica - you could use pictures instead! Use clip art of actual photos of his backpack, toothbrush, etc...

August 7, 2011 at 4:56 PM 

Blogger Tina had this to say:

i love the mat! and the self-talk. all the goals seem worth the self-talk.

August 8, 2011 at 11:33 AM 

Blogger valerie in TX had this to say:

Oh, how I love all your grand plans. And how I wish I would do all those grand plans myself! Let me know what ideas you come up with for breakfast. Practically every morning I resort to cereal and my kids are pretty tired of it. :( you guys do chores immediately after school, or after the "decompressing" time?

August 9, 2011 at 3:03 PM 

Blogger Starr had this to say:

Valerie - Last year the rule was no screen time of any kind until chores were done. It worked pretty well..probably stick with that. Chores first thing.

And I don't see cereal leaving our breakfast table anytime soon, but I plan to add to the cereal some fruit (melons like honey dew and cantaloupe are cheapish and my kids love them)... or whole wheat toast with peanut butter...something as an addendum to the cereal. :-) Kix and Cheerios are pretty much the standard.

August 9, 2011 at 3:25 PM 

Blogger Shelly Collins had this to say:

Hi Starr. I haven't visited your blog in a while. All the craft goodness is so fun. I am giving myself the same pep talk for staying on top of everything once school starts. I have to get myself and three ready for school - ahhh. Why is it so hard to get clothes ready and pack lunches the night before? Good luck. We can do it!

August 12, 2011 at 11:21 PM 

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Cliff Familyt

I'm Starr Cliff. A domestically-challenged mom, climbing over mountains of laundry to bring you my stray observations and amusing stories about my kids. (more)



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