Back to School Year Resolutions

 

 

don't wait until January to get Organized! The beginning of the school year is the perfect time to start New and Fresh!

Making And Keeping Back to School Year Resolutions

School starts on Monday. Are you ready? Has your school year already begun?

A hundred million years ago before I had kids of my own, I remember my friend Jenny talking about Back to School Year Resolutions.

I didn’t really get it, but I decided that I might as well make a few of my own come each September since I LOVE New Year Resolutions, and having a few new ones (or the opportunity to tweak my current/old ones) could only be a Good Thing.

Now that the kids are both in school, I understand so much better the importance of starting the year off organized and with some goals.

Each year we spend time making Vision Boards and planning out what we would like to see happen during the school year.
Vision Boards are SUPER fun to make — but there are some practical steps that you have to take in order to make your vision turn reality.

I hope you find them helpful!!

[updated 2021: This “Back to School Resolution” thing is UBER helpful for our family, in this stage of life that we are in. I now have one in college, one in highschool, and the youngest is in middle school. AND I am back to work full-time, as an elementary school site secretary. I really need to live out my own advice!! 🙂
lots of love and luck to you as you venture forth into the new school year! xoxo steph]

 

Organize the Homework Space.

I’m working on that today. Since everything is on sale right now, I decided to stock up on all the homework supplies we might possibly need throughout the school year. I also bought some extra scissors and rolls of tape, because those items seem to disappear in our house—no matter where they are housed, or how many we own.

It’s kind of a mystery.

If you can find plastic pencil boxes on sale, snatch one up for each of your children (I found them for 50 cents each!) and put in pencils, scissors, markers, a ruler, eraser, etc.

Younger children will need crayons and safety scissors. Label the boxes and bring them out only at homework time, otherwise the materials will be used on the weekends or on play dates for arts and crafts, and the homework supplies will go missing.

And you will feel frustrated. Trust me.

Clothes.

We don’t have a school uniform, but oh how I wish we did. My kids are still relatively  young, but are both girls (with another girl on the way!) and they take an awful long time to pick out their clothes in the morning.

They also have the tendency to change their minds halfway through breakfast and completely change their outfit, leaving strewn clothes all over the floor.

Until I got mean.

I balked at the idea of picking clothes out the night before for quite a while. It seemed controlling and I didn’t like the idea of stifling creativity.

That changed when I realized that the kids just don’t seem fully awake enough in the morning to make choices. It was overwhelming, and they ended up wearing the same clothes over and over, causing wear and tear on only a few pieces of clothing.

Now (on their own, surprisingly) they decide on clothes the night before, and get everything out, down to socks and underwear and get dressed without (much) mayhem).

Before stuffing new clothes onto the old, take the time to PROM (purge, remove, organize, maintain) the dresser drawers and closets for outgrown, stained, or damaged clothing.

 

Meals.

If you aren’t a meal planner, you might really want to become one.

The new school year brings a new soccer season, boy scouts, girl scouts, PTA meetings, new music lessons, and homework.

It’s much easier to go throughout your day in relative peace when you don’t need to run to the store at 5pm (with all the crazies) for something for dinner. I try and plan breakfasts, lunches, and snacks, too.

Nothing elaborate, but just a rough skeleton of what food we’ll need in the house, and what I’ll need to pack for snacks and lunches.

I am not a night-before lunch packer, but many people are, and really find that it eases the morning rush. If your children are old enough to make their own lunches, have them–especially if you find that food is regularly coming home uneaten.

 

Kid Goals.

My little one is starting Kindergarten this year, and even she has a list of goals of what she’d like to achieve this year.

She’d like to learn to read, and she’d like to play on the “big playground.” The beginning of the school year is a great time to introduce your children to goal-setting and achieving.

If they have a lofty goal such as getting straight As, walk them through the steps needed to help achieve that goal.

If you know from personal experience that the goal is completely out-of-reach, then kindly help steer towards an obtainable one. Goals are like mini-dreams, and no one likes to have their dreams squashed.

 

Parent Goals.

You have a clean slate. What occurred last year that you weren’t so pleased with?

Homework battles? What should happen differently this year? Were meals hectic? Was there lots of bickering in the late afternoon?

It’s not reasonable to have a Stepford Home, but it is reasonable to have a plan in place for relative peace.

Many children need a bit of decompression time when getting home from school or from late-afternoon activities before re-entering the home community. Understanding this need, and limiting it to a certain amount of time can help to ease tears and frustration.

How have you been doing with your own New Year (or similar) goals and resolutions?

This is a perfect time to reassess and gain motivation to close the year out with a bang.

Do you want to kick your workout routine up a notch so come Halloween and the winter holidays you can indulge without guilt? Do you need some new Back-to-School clothing items to spruce up your own wardrobe?

Have you been waiting to start a project now that school is back in session? This is your opportunity. Go for it!

 

Perfection Smerfection.

There is no such thing as a perfect home, perfect children, or a perfect life. All you can do is focus on each teeny tiny step and task, and give it  your full attention. You are doing a wonderful job.

 

Want more? Be sure to watch my free training on the 10 Things You can Do RIGHT NOW to have a Happier, Calmer, more Peaceful Life.

 

 

I have written 3 books that might be of help to you (all available on Amazon):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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21 Comments

  1. We just started going through clothes (school begins Sept. 8) and then we received a big bag of hand-me-downs. So, so appreciated, but the clothes! They are EVERYWHERE.

  2. Great idea for the homework supplies. Nothing infuriates me more than searching for a sharp pencil or a pen for homework.

    Last year we started picking out clothes for the week on Sundays. The full outfit, including socks & underwear goes on a hanger. The kid can pick out which clothes are for which day. I’m dreading having to make 3 lunches this year. Dreading. It.

    Great site! I’ll be back!

  3. I always thought that New School Year’s Resolutions were more relevant than New Year’s Resolutions!

  4. LOVE THIS! I talk about goals each year with my kids. Now one is in college and the youngest is in 10th grade. It’s a great habit for kids and adults. Thank you for writing this post. Meal planning is a great way to save time and money. This weekend we’re cooking off a bunch of pancakes, waffles and muffins for the freezer for easy breakfasts. Then we’ll bake of some sweets and freeze them too. Not as confident that they’ll last as long. Thanks Steph!!!!!

  5. Now why didn’t I ever think of the homework box? I am forever getting mad when I can’t find simple things like pencils or scissors when my son needs to complete his homework. What a great idea!!!! I am going out tomorrow to make up a box for him. This is going to save me so much time and frustration. Thanks so much for sharing!

  6. As always great stuff to think about. I did my resolutions, but didn’t even think about my kindergartner- and goals are right up her alley. Thanks for the idea!

  7. another girl? YAY for little girls!
    Congrats!
    Oh and great ideas here too : )
    Thanks!

  8. Although school started for us 2 weeks ago I had actually done many of these things on my own… yeah me!! I fought EVERYday of preschool with my little miss with picking out her clothes and her wanting to be independant and do it for herself. She now comes to me at night and shows me the clothes she wants. makes morning routine SO much easier. I have also made it my resolution to start FLYing (flylady) but putting my own twist for what works for my household and schedule. As far as lunches go, the nonrefrigerated stuff gets laid out the night before, as well as cereal bowls and spoons. last thing I need is to ask a grouchy, sleepy kid to get a bowl. that is a recipe for a meltdown. So far so good for the first two weeks and we are making these new routines a regular part of life. Hope your little ones enjoy there time in school (I have a 5th grader and Kindergartener, with one more at home). and I hope you enjoy your time at home continuing to cook their little sister for them.

  9. This is a timely post for me. I homeschool two of my children, but one does attend school and we do the clothes and lunch the night before. Also, my oldest has some early (for her anyway LOL!) classes this fall so I’ll be struggling to get her out the door by 8:30 I’m sure.

    As a homeschooler, organization is huge for me. We do buy tons of supplies during back to school sales (in fact I got so much last year I still have some left!) and the pencil box trick is a good one. We also use one of those sets of plastic, freestanding drawers for hard to hold supplies like paper, paints, stickers and such. We also have fabric drawers for the bookshelves that hold books, notebooks and workbooks we are currently using as well as each chIld having a backback that they use in a similar fashion as well as for taking their books to work on during long nights as the dance studio/cheer gym.

    I have fallen off the meal planning wagon 🙁 but I need to get back on. With dance or cheer (or both!) literally every night of the week I’ll need to know what I’m cooking, and have all the ingredients so I can put it in the crock pot at noon 🙂

    So that’s my long, rambling way of saying thanks for the kick in the keister!

    -Jen 🙂

  10. Yay! Another girl! I’m thrilled for you. I remember when your 2nd was born, close to my first who is also starting kindergarten this year.

    I love back to school and am keeping you in mind as I get my home ready for the start of school this year. Thank you for all of your awesome tips.

  11. What a great post, Steph! So many will find this helpful. Mine is 21 and in college, so no much of this going on with him although we did talk about his goals the other day. We didn’t call it that though. LOL I love that your kindergartener has such great goals–too cool! Once you learn to work with goals, that approach can carry you through your whole life. 🙂

    Congats on the third girl! So much fun for all of you and hand me downs!

    Shirley

  12. I just posted on a message board I frequent about my New (School) Year’s Resolution! Because I’m a teacher and a parent, making resolutions as school begins makes so much more sense to me than making them at New Years. My resolution this year was to start meal planning. Today is our first day back, so I can’t report on my success as of yet. But I’m sure you’ll be happy to know that on my son’s swimming night (which is usually followed by “Can we go to McDonald’s for dinner, mom?” and me giving in because I don’t want to come home and cook) I planned one of his favourite meals. And I’m making it…

    in the crock pot.

    Heh.

  13. I used to plan my meals weekly and assign them certain days. Then, something would happen and we’d have more leftovers than I’d planned for to use another night or we would be out somewhere and end up eating before we got home. Once the days get messed up, I get all turned around. (Sadly, it doesn’t take much!) Now, I just always make sure I buy enough in my weekly grocery trip for five dinners. All of our lunches and breakfasts are pretty standard. I actually print out the recipes I use and have them in a binder. I just slide paper clip over the meals I plan to make that week and take it off the page when I’ve made that meal. I even make shopping lists for things I don’t actually need a recipe for (like hamburgers and meatloaf) so I can easily make my shopping list without putting too much thought into it and put those in the binder as well.

    You are a big part of my newfound skills when it comes to planning meals. In turn, my family eats healthier and our grocery budget is more easily attainable. Not to mention, I don’t stress out about what to make for dinner now. YOU ROCK!

    THANKS!

  14. I don’t know why but all of your old posts keep showing up in my reader every day or so as if they are new posts. Are you making your blog private and then public again?

  15. I don’t know about your Target but the one near us starts marking down back-to-school supplies about two weeks after school starts. They start at 30% off and work their way to 90% off (usually by the fourth or fifth week of school)! Last year I bought notebooks for 25 cents and folders for 7 cents! The notebook paper and pencils (a TEN pack!) for 15 cents! It’s a great way to stock-up on extras and also for the homework box.

  16. I love the idea of school-year based resolutions. So much in our family life seems to revolve around the school year, I don’t know how I’ll make plans once the kids are out of school & on their own!

    I thought I’d share a link to something that has helped me pack lunches/snacks for the kids for years. ( I hope it’s ok to post a link?) Anyway, it’s “How to pack a 5-Star Lunch” by webMD and it gives examples of foods in different categories. We just have to pick 2 or 3 categories to have a great (& varied!) snack or meal. My youngest is still more excited about finger-foods (sandwiches cut into ‘sticks’, banana circles, etc.) so this list is a handy go-to for lunches.

    http://children.webmd.com/childrens-health-7/healthy-school-lunch

    By the way…I’m heading to school myself. Ground School. Look at me! The future private pilot! 😉

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