Guest Guru: Alyssa Davis – Removing Stress from the New School Year Schedules
Removing Stress from the New School Year Schedules
By Alyssa Davis of Metal-Wall-Art.com
School is in session! For most parents, that means abandoning their relaxed summer schedule to keep track of their kids’ school calendars. Without a little structure to the schedule, the school year can feel like a blast of frenetic activity, and as more children are added to the mix, the frenzy just increases. So rather then trying to maintain a mental schedule of who needs to be where and when, what assignments are due, and which field trip is coming, not to mention a parent’s own obligations, it is extremely beneficial to fashion a formal schedule to keep everything on track.
Develop a Schedule
Having children naturally imposes some sort of structure to the day whether a parent realizes it or not. Especially with younger kids, the parent is in charge of getting them up and dressed, as well as setting playtime, mealtime, and bedtime. So even during the laid back months of summer there is a daily schedule in place, even if it is informal. Now it is time to add the new year’s school schedule to the mix. There are two simple components for keeping everything on schedule, which are a calendar and a task list.
As children grow up, a parent can hand more and more of the school scheduling details to them, however, when they are younger, the full brunt of the child’s schedule rests squarely on the parents’ shoulders. Staying organized greatly reduces the stress out of having a child appear at the right place and the right time with homework in hand.
Managing the Calendar
Hang the calendar and task list in an area that is frequently seen by all family members. The kitchen is usually a good spot for command central, because it usually is a home’s natural center. By managing the calendar out in the open a parent is passing on their time management skills to their children. Allowing small children to add items to the calendar is thrilling for them, and helps those school notices actually make it all of the way home.
Typically this calendar will not have every minute of every day scheduled on it. Instead it will have blocks of time allocated to general activities or groups of activities. For example, schedule 6:30 A.M. to 7:30 A.M. time to get up, get dressed and eat breakfast. Some kids pop awake in the morning while others struggle to find consciousness. So, whether they need it or not, each child should have an alarm clock, and that is the beginning of staying on time. Getting up at the same time every day, weekends included, makes Monday morning much easier for everyone.
It is as important to schedule the day’s preparation for parents as it is for children. Schedule time for children to lay out the next day’s clothes and load up their backpack before bath and bedtime. Parents may wish to make lunches in the evening, because by having everything prepared the night before, each morning begins with as little chaos and stress as possible. As a side note, it is always a good idea to allow a little extra time in the morning for the one thing that is sure to go wrong. Developing a schedule that is easy to update reduces chaos and keeps the family on track as they settle into daily patterns for the new school year.