Transitioning Back to School

download (5)The kids will be back in school before you know it, and it can be a stressful time for families. Most of the stress comes from changing schedules and getting into a new routine. Whether your summer was very open and relaxed, or packed with activities, the transition back into a school routine always seems to be a big challenge. However, there are ways to help make it easier on your whole family.

Make a plan

Your family is your team, and everyone has a part to do to help things run smoothly. So make a plan and make sure that everyone knows their part. Your kids’ responsibilities each morning might include getting dressed, brushing their teeth, packing up their backpacks, eating breakfast and getting out the door on time to catch the bus. Chore charts or accountability organizers can help your kids stay on track with everything that needs to be done, and with such a visual reminder, there is less pressure on you to keep nagging. The more relaxed you are, the more relaxed your family will be, and the more smoothly mornings will go. Below are some links to some chore chart and accountability organizer ideas.

Practice the Week Before

Just like everything in life, it’s always easier said than done, so you and your family will need practice. About a week or so before school starts, you should start your family on their school schedules. Start waking up early, hammer out morning shower times, get the kids out the door (to do something, anything) on time, and start going to bed earlier. After a week’s worth of practice, you and your family should be right back into the school schedule groove just in time for school to actually start!

After School Needs a Plan

While makeing your plan, don’t forget to include how the after school hours will pan out. When are your kids required to do their homework? When can they play? What time is dinner? When to they need to go to bed? You can practice homework time by setting aside an hour or so of quiet reading time each afternoon during your practice week. If you have younger kids, read with them; it’s not only great practice for when school starts, but it’s also some special time for the two of you to be together.

If your kids are going to be in after school sports or activities, then you have a whole new scheduling ballgame, and you will need a calendar. Make sure every activity is on the calendar, where and when, so the whole family can see what their days and weeks will be like. Knowing this ahead of time allows you and your spouse to plan out who is dropping off and picking up which kids throughout the week. And once again, having a plan can help to relieve stress from your family.

Easy Dinners

With all this activity going on, who has time to think of a healthy dinner? You do. Family dinners are an important part of the daily routine. Dinners are a time to talk, laugh and connect with your family. Values and manners are taught and shared at the dinner table; problems are discussed and worked out over healthy meals. But back to school time is a busy time for the whole family, and you may not think you have time to cook a healthy meal every day.

Try prepping several crockpot meals on Sunday and putting them into the freezer. Then, in the morning, just empty you prepped meal into the crockpot and let it cook all day. By the time you and your family get home from a busy day of school, work and activities, dinner will be ready for you. There are links below to several recipes that can go from the freezer right into the crockpot. The transition from summer back into a school routine can be tough on the whole family, but with a little planning and family teamwork, you just might make it.

Helpful Links

Chore Charts & Accountability Organizers:

http://www.smartschoolhouse.com/back-to-school/organization#_a5y_p=2183234

http://www.ishouldbemoppingthefloor.com/2014/01/free-printable-chore-charts.html

http://indulgy.com/post/JMSeMluMF1/chore-chart-diy-with-cookie-sheets-and-chalkboar

Freezer to Crockpot Recipes:

http://www.lifewith4boys.com/2012/10/25-meals-in-4-12-hours-freezer-to.html

http://www.thelittleredbutton.ca/2013/03/03/tpc-freezer-meals/

http://kojo-designs.com/2012/08/freezer-crockpot-cooking-round-2-more-recipes-more-organization/