September can be an exciting, yet tiring month for both students and parents. Not only are children entering the new school year, but the days of soccer practice, ballet recitals and piano lessons are beginning to pick up again. Creating a balance between children’s and parents’ schedules can be a daunting process; however, if done correctly, it can also be extremely efficient. Below are simple tips that will help alleviate the stress of busy day-to-day schedules.
Combine activities when possible.
After a full day of school, there is often a short break in the day before extracurricular activities begin. With siblings who may be doing two different sports or activities, try to manage the drop off and pick up without any overlapping of the schedule. Also, talk with the individuals in charge, providing an understanding of your situation if there is an overlap that may cause your child to be late at times.
Ask for help and provide assistance
Children tend to make friends both in school and during activities. This gives parents a chance to work together with other parents to simplify after-school activities. Communicate with them to set up schedules for alternating drop-offs and pick-ups. This will give both parents a break regularly.
Try to work ahead.
For students that may have school projects or even for something as simple as making lunches, utilize any extra time you have to plan ahead. Have students complete work in a timely manner so they do not end up rushing at the end. For student lunches, prep snacks for the week so it takes less time to prepare daily. Baggies of fruit, pretzels, vegetables, etc. can be stored in the refrigerator; this also allows students to essentially pack their own lunches in the morning.
No more late nights.
During the summer, bedtime gets more flexible, especially with vacations. Now that school has started, have students complete all homework with a small snack right when they arrive home. Then, they will have the rest of the night for dinner and family time. Set a specific time for students to get ready for bed. Have them pick out clothes for the next day and have everything ready for school the night before. This also helps with the crazy rush of the morning routine.
Weekends are for family.
Friday is the start of the weekend but shouldn’t be different from any other day of the week. All homework should be completed after school so the weekend is left specifically for family time. Weekends are a time to go to the park, see a movie, take a day trip and take the mind off the stress of the weekdays. Sunday night should be utilized for a quick prep and refresh for the week of any schoolwork and a nice movie to end the weekend.