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