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Setting Up A Back To School Routine
It’s that wonderful time of the year to send our kiddos back to school (YAY, lol) Set bed times, early mornings, afternoon homework assignments-- to sum it all up in one phrase, Good Ol’ fashion ROUTINE. Studies show that children (and adults) THRIVE on routine. Having a routine allows us to have some predictability and a somewhat-sense-of-control over our daily lives; this makes us feel empowered and accomplished. Routine allows a space for us to create healthy habits and teaches our children about order and responsibility. Now, don’t get me wrong, breaking from routine is also healthy (and very much needed) but overall, on MOST days, we all crave routine. We scourged the internet for tips on how to get organized and leverage this time of the year to create healthy habits for you and your family and thought these were some of the best tips out there. Hope you enjoy!
Set a Schedule (but be flexible)—Okay this sounds like an oxymoron right? How are we to have a set schedule AND be flexible at the same time—simple! Follow the schedule on MOST days but don’t freak out when unforeseen situations come up. BE FLEXIBLE! Its life and things WILL happen. We set up our daily schedule with some built in ‘flex time’ and we also make it a point to ‘book-end’ our days. Before we continue, let me explain flextime and bookending. Allowing a built in ‘flex time’ simply means that we intentionally leave some free time in our schedule for cuddles, story times, arts and crafts, or outdoor fun with the kids. Some days our flex time is eaten up by soccer practice, homework, projects, or meetings but on most days flex time gives our family the ability to CHOOSE whatever we want to do; this keeps our schedule from becoming too rigid. Book-ending our day is a concept I took from one of my favorite authors, Darren Hardy. He suggests that we intentionally decide how we want to start and end our days. For me, starting my day with prayer is of the utmost importance. Although I cannot control what will happens during the day I know I started my day with God and this sets me up in a good way. Having a schedule or routine has saved us many homework, bath time, and bedtime arguments with our girls. They already know homework time begins as soon as they get home from school, bath time is roughly at 8pm, and bed time is at 9:30pm. No questions, no fights, no whining. We all win.
Set out clothes the night before- I have yet to meet one parent who doesn’t experience the ‘morning rush’. Some of us have crazier mornings than others, but for most of us, the morning rush struggle is real. Having clothes picked out the night before will save a lot of time in the morning. We have my girls set out their entire outfit the night before including socks, shoes and bows. Our high school fashionista even has her jewelry and accessories set for the next day.
Pack Lunch the night before- Our girls do not really like to eat the school cafeteria food, so we pack a lunch for them every day. Our go to lunch is a sandwich (ham & cheese, PB & jelly, or grilled cheese), a fruit, chip or cracker, and veggie (carrot sticks, sliced cucumber, sliced peppers, or cherry tomatoes). I make the sandwich in the morning so that the bread could be soft but I pack everything else the night before including their water bottle so that it could be cold. This has saved me so much time in the morning. I make the sandwiches while I’m preparing breakfast and since everything else is packed it only takes a couple of minutes.
Designated Homework space- Since we work from home this one is pretty easy for us. In our home office we have a desk, computer, printer and supplies. Everything is set for our girls to get their work done. However, if you do not have a designated office space at home creating a homework cart may be the solution (my sister has one for her kids and loves it). A homework cart is a little cart with all of the supplies needed for homework, school projects or crafts, below is an example I saw on Pinterest. My favorite thing about the cart idea is that you can purchase a cart with wheels and pull it in and out of a closet for easy out of sight storage; it’s a great alternative if you do not have a home office.
Take time to celebrate the victories and break out of routine- I don’t know if you have notice by my Facebook pictures but my family and I are MEGA DODGER fans. Our girls work hard for their grades and every now and then my husband and I will treat them to a weekday baseball game. Yup, you heard right WEEKDAY game. Right after school we drive off to LA or San Diego, pick up some drive thru, blast good music and go watch the boys in blue play their heart out on the field. My kids love it and are so grateful we get to ‘break the rules’ and have some fun. We remind them how proud we are of them for working hard at school and that this is a little treat they get for their efforts. I can tell by the look in their eyes and the grin on their face that they too feel proud. It is moments like these that I relish and thank God for all the blessings He has bestowed upon me and my family.
Though routine is indeed very important, enjoying the little things and celebrating victories is even more important. After all, how boring would life be if all we did was follow a schedule? So let down your hair, take a deep breath and smile because life is a beautiful gift. We hope you enjoyed this month’s blog! And please let us know if we can help you with any of your real estate needs!
Your friendly Realtors,
Fernando and Sonia