Skip to main content

Surviving the School Year


Everyone figures out a way throughout the school year that fits both working and school schedules into an easier lifestyle. When my three were little I worked full time, so I whittled out routines that became our “normal.” It ensured we made time for everyone and everything, including free time.  
Here is what worked for us and I hope you share your ideas so we can help each other make life less hectic.
1.     Stock up on extra school supplies and keep them handy at home – notebook paper, spirals, pens, pencils, crayons, markers, glue, rulers, a good pencil sharpener – whatever kids might forget at school but will need at home to complete homework assignments or projects.  Keep a couple of poster boards handy so you do not have to drive to the store in the middle of the night when they remember they have a project due the next day.
2.    Provide a space where you can supervise homework and study while you work on your own projects. My three had to sit at the kitchen table for one hour every evening (Sunday night through Thursday night) and do homework or read to me. If one was having trouble (low grade) in a certain subject, they had to study that subject in addition to other homework.  I read along with them and helped where I could as I worked on dinner.
Before they put away their things, they cleaned out their bags, checked for papers or notes I might need to sign, and replenished their school supplies.
3.    We all kept our bags by the exit door. They were handy to grab and go the next morning.  They also chose their outfits and other items they needed for the next day, like gym clothes, uniforms, or equipment.
4.    Along with their bedtime routine, they packed their lunches and decided on their breakfast.  I did this also, like prepping the coffee pot. It didn’t take long, nothing elaborate, but it saved time on sleepy and tired mornings.
5.    It sounds like a lot of rules and regulations, but rest and recreation was an important consideration as well.  My children were active in church and in after school activities, so that provided for healthy, safe outlets. The daily “study hour” lasted from Sunday night through Thursday night in preparation for school the next day, so they had the rest of the evening free to do other things.  Friday evenings were game nights or out with friends. Saturdays were free after they did their chores (which took one or two hours at the most), and on Sunday, they could go out with friends after church until about seven in the evening.

As the kids grew, they became accustomed to our routine.  They never noticed when I stopped supervising and let them govern themselves. 

They are grown now with families of their own, but I see remnants of this when I visit their homes.  Book bags pile by the front door, kids sit around kitchen tables doing homework, and everyone helps with chores so that family has time to get to the fun stuff.   

It gave order to our busy lifestyle, emphasized what was important (school and church and good, clean fun), and glued us together as a family. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Dating Challenged

I stink at dating – always have.I sputter.I hyperventilate.I fail miserably every time. I blame a pathetically underdeveloped gene that got little use before I married in my early twenties, then atrophied, gathering dust and rust, until I became single again in my fifties. I decided to use this defect to my advantage when I needed to do some investigative reporting a few years back.While on a newspaper writing assignment on Boomer-aged dating, I sacrificed my dignity and my vanity for the sake of the story (and I got several).

Thank goodness, HoneyBunch saved me from all this when we married.  (He comes up with the best dates.) I’ve decided I will “show you mine if you show me yours.”I will swap dating horror stories with you, but you have to promise to play along. The trick here is to tell about your worst date in 25 words or less.You must keep it clean and you cannot name names. Our little contest will run only this week and before my next blogger posting. Me first: The facts:My mom f…

Happy Breastday to Me!

I gave myself a very special birthday present this year – I had surgery. Before you think it was to increase, decrease, or “lift” something, let me tell you it was not cosmetic (though I could probably use a few nips and tucks at my age; the infinite number of creams I buy OTC are not working their promised magic). About four or five months ago, I discovered a hard lump about the size of a large marble in my left armpit.  I had been feeling small pangs of pain in my left chest for several months, but I figured it was just my turn to dance with heart disease.  Everyone in my immediate family is diabetic and suffers from strokes or heart attacks, so I thought – here we go; my turn. I was going to tell my internist about the pangs during my next visit, so imagine my surprise when I discovered the lump. The Drama Queen in me immediately manifested herself – cancer, I thought.  I have cancer. I searched some more and found that the texture on the left side of my left breast felt different t…

Grandma’s Dining Table

Twenty five years ago my first husband and I bought a new home with four bedrooms and three baths, but my favorite part of the house was the enormous room you walked into from the front door. It had no dividing wall but the design was to use half of it as a formal living and the other half as a formal dining. From the beginning I decided to make it into one huge dining room that would catch the eye when everyone walked in through the front door of my home.   My three children were very young, but I envisioned them grown and married. We counted five at the time, but one day we would grow to eight, maybe more if we factored in grandchildren, so I bought a table that sat a family of twelve.  My husband thought it silly to look that far ahead and convinced me to buy only ten chairs. The room looked magnificent – the long, majestic table, the ten chairs, the buffet, a couple of real ficus, and a few other nice pieces of furniture – I was pleased. The table lasted longer than the marriage, a…