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Posts Tagged ‘Back to School Routine’

9 Real Working Moms Reveal How They Got Their Back-to-School Routine Down Pat

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Even though this article was originally written with working mothers in mind, this is great information for all parents!

Read and learn from these seasoned pros.

As summer winds down, many working moms are thinking (fantasizing?) about school starting in just a few weeks (or today, if you live in some parts of the country).

As exciting as a new school year can be, the change in routine from lazy summer days to tightly-packed schedules can lead to more than a few tears—and I’m not even talking about the kids.

We asked real working moms to share their ingenious tips for making the transition back to school as smooth as possible. Here’s what they suggest:

Keep the same routine, no matter the season.

Some parents relax the rules in the summer. Not Ann Holman, who is in the Navy and lives in Jacksonville, FL. “I keep the same bedtime every day (even weekends), the same Internet/video game rules (only on the weekend), and the same diet (we don’t do random snacks at home),” she says. Consistency makes for an easier back-to-school adjustment, she says.

Streamline school-supply shopping.

 

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Buying in bulk is your friend.

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When it comes to back-to-school, some things are worth paying a little extra for. “If your school has the school supply packs that you can pre-order, it is worth every penny,” says Annette Fontaine, an engineer from Austin, TX. Many other moms we surveyed echoed this tip.

Practice your new routine in advance

 

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And head off meltdowns.

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As we all know, young kids can be finicky about their routines—a seemingly minor change can totally throw them off. This is especially true for that most emotionally fraught of rituals: the morning drop-off. Elyssa Morrison, an advertising executive in Hillsborough, NJ, makes things easier for her kids with this trick:

“My husband is a teacher and is always gone before I wake up,” she explains. “He helps out a lot when he’s home over the summer, but about a week before he goes back, I take it back over. I get myself up, get the kids up, do breakfast, and most importantly, do the daycare drop-offs. I find that this helps my kids get adjusted to Daddy not being there in the morning.”

Outsmart the brown bag.

 

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Go for a washable container—with compartments—instead.

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There is perhaps no task working moms dread more than packing school lunches. (Or is it just me?)

Rachel Margolin, who lives in New York City, runs a consulting and publishing business with her husband and co-authored Balancepreneur, a book on work-life balance, says the key to easier lunches is in the container: “I got a set of Tupperware with three sections,” she says. “It makes packing a healthy lunch very easy, and there isn’t a bunch of Tupperware for your kid to try to keep organized at lunch, or for you to have to wash at the end of the day. And I think kids for some reason are more likely to eat the veggies out of the three-section Tupperware than to open a separate veggie cup.” (I plan to test out this theory ASAP.)

Shop early and often.

 

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You never know when you’ll catch a good sale.

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When a new school year looms on the horizon, it’s not just pencils and notebooks working moms need to shop for. There are tons of other odds and ends to buy, often in different stores. An early start to shopping reduces the risk your child shows up on day one without a much-needed item.

“My daughter starts kindergarten August 1,” says Beth Newberry Gurney, a grant project manager from Shelbyville, KY, “so [in July] I ordered a backpack and lunchbox for her from Lands’ End and shoes for her from Amazon. I stopped by Staples on my way to work for supplies and put the rest on our Kroger ClickList.”

Prep the kids for early wake-ups.

 

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Rise and shine, kiddos.

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If you’re not one of those aforementioned parents who keeps summer and school-year routines the same, you may be faced with the daunting task of getting your kids up earlier for school. (I don’t have first-hand experience with this yet, but I hear this is a particularly unpleasant chore with teenagers.)

Here’s how Grace Barbarino, a teacher from New York City, tackles the problem: “Since I’m a teacher, I go to work two days before my kids start,” she says. “They start getting used to the early wake-up times then. I wake them, dress them and get breakfast ready. By the time their first day rolls around, they are better adjusted to the wake-up time.”

Get everything on the calendar ASAP.

 

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If it’s not on the calendar, it doesn’t exist.

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This scenario probably sounds familiar to many working moms: You schedule an important meeting at work, only to realize it conflicts with a “Professional Development Day” (i.e. day off) at your child’s school.

Here’s how Alison Zvolanek, who works in marketing and lives in Dallas, TX, avoids that headache: “I just went through the district and PTA calendars and added all the important dates to my calendar—meet the teacher, parent night, school holidays, early release days, etc.,” she says. (This is going to be the year I actually follow this tip!)

Do everything the night or week before.

 

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Then just grab it and go in the morning.

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Lynn Little, a group home manager from Bristol, CT, is the kind of working mom who leaves nothing to chance.

“Use Sunday to plan for your week,” she advises. “Put outfits on hangers separately from the rest of the clothes. Put a bag on the hanger with undies and socks. Pack a week’s worth of lunches. Pack separate bags for each night to have all of your stuff for each activity. Put snacks if needed in the bag ahead of time. If you need something from the fridge for an activity put a label on it in the fridge and clip a note to the bag. At night, have the kids pack their school bags and set them up next to the door.”

Or … just wing it!

 

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A risky but sometimes necessary strategy.

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Stacey Hawes, a boiler operator from Addison, MI, prefers to embrace the chaos: “I just like to go at it unprepared,” she says. “Makes it exciting.”

Here’s hoping for an exciting—or, for those who prefer, unexciting—Back to School 2018!

 

This article was written by Jennifer Richler from Working Mother and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Establishing a ‘School Day’ Routine

Although it may feel like summer has only just begun, soon enough you’ll be sending your little one back to school. During the lazy, hazy days of summer, routines may have become a bit lax. Below are some helpful tips to establish a daily school day routine.

  • Set a school-night bedtime. The entire family will probably need to start waking up earlier than usual once school begins, so set an earlier time for you and your child to hit the sack each night. This will ensure you all get the proper amount of rest needed to tackle the busy morning routine and be bright and alert for the school/work day.
  • Prepare the night before. Pack lunches, backpacks and choose clothes for the next day the night before. Check notes from the school/teacher to make sure your child has everything they need for school the next day. Find a location near the door to set shoes, backpacks and other school necessities so everything is ready to go when you leave the house in the morning.
  • Create your own “Have a great day!” signal. Involve your child in developing a special way for the two of you to say good-bye to each other when you drop them off at school in the morning. It could be a funny handshake, secret phrase or even just a wink and smile. Only the two of you will know you really mean, “Have a great day! I love you.”
  • Allow unwind time. Set aside some time to allow your child to unwind at the end of the day. Children need this, especially during the first few weeks of getting into the back-to-school routine. The change in schedule can be overwhelming, so having some time to relax or play quietly when they get home from school can be beneficial.
  • Recap the day together. Whether around the dinner table or during one-on-one time with your little one each evening, ask them about their day and share yours with them. You’ll both benefit from the special time together to listen and share.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat: Establishing Back to School Routine

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Children’s routines are very relaxed in the summer – bedtime is later, snacks are around the clock, more time is spent watching TV and playing with toys. With the back-to-school season here it can be very difficult to get them back into the school year routine.

  • Bear in mind that you must slowly re-introduce their regular schedules a few weeks before school actually begins so that everyone is used to the change (parents included). Here are a few tips to get your children back into the swing of things:
  • Slowly move bedtime back to an earlier time. Children need 9 to 11 hours of sleep each night, depending on their age.
  • It’s very easy to slip into irregular meal times during the summer, so as September gets closer start making meals more regular and begin to align meal time with the school year schedule.
  • Start putting limits to the amount of time your children spend watching TV and playing games. They’ll need to refocus on school work.
  • Help them prepare for school the night before. Assist in selecting clothes to wear for school and making sure they have all of their school supplies in their backpack. After a while, they will be able to do this without your assistance.
  • Have a daily schedule posted in an area your child will see each day, like the refrigerator.

Just like we practice at The Goddard School, regular schedules create a day with structure. The repetition of routines encourages your child’s memory development, and the consistency helps him or her adjust to a regular schedule.