Welcoming in a new school year is an exciting time of new learning opportunities and new friends. Your kids may not always welcome the switch from the less structured days of summer, and your morning routine might suffer in the blur of paperwork, meal prep, books and equipment. But don’t despair – a few good habits will help you embrace the transition and take advantage of the growth and personal development this time of year brings.
Keep a Schedule
The new school year likely means there are schedule changes for nearly everyone in the household. With technology at most everyone’s fingertips, there are apps available from calendars to grocery lists that multiple family members can join. But, even with technology, you might find keeping a visual schedule for the whole family to refer to—ideally by your exit door—can help clear any confusion with new routines. Whichever way you choose to time manage, be sure to include everyone’s schedule – work, school, lessons, sports, and appointments. Knowing each other’s schedules, particularly in the first few weeks of the school year, will make everyone feel more at ease.
Organize Your Mornings – The Night Before
You know the old saying an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure? Take a few moments in the evening to assemble clothing, books, lunches, sports equipment, musical instruments and even set the breakfast table. You’ll be more efficient in the last quiet moments of your evening, and be sure to assemble your clothing, to do list, and schedule for the coming day. Get the kids involved as well in this preparation. Demonstrating the importance of organization will help them develop good habits. And, if you don’t already have a dedicated spot for gear, coats and shoes, make it your weekend project to install some hooks and a shoe rack where you can. With shoes organized at the entryway of your home, you can cut down on the number of times someone spends (your) valuable time looking for footwear!
Learn Something New
Tips and guides for the back to school season naturally focus on school-aged children and how to make their transition (and yours) run smoothly. However, don’t forget about learning opportunities for yourself! Here in Maryland, local community colleges follow public school calendars, with classes usually beginning the same week. Offering everything from cooking classes to basic photography, classes that sharpen computer skills, explore local history, or even teach a new language, you are bound to find an area of interest to learn a new skill and develop yourself as a person, too. Community colleges are often the starting point to new careers, and many classes are available online! If better fitness is your goal, take a look into your local recreation council, gym, or YMCA. Many of these groups and businesses also begin classes that coincide with the new school year.
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