It could be said that this is the most turbulent month for most families. Sure, we’re not transitioning into a new year or preparing for the Christmas holiday, yet this kind of stress and change is mostly in our heads. February, on the other hand, is the month of actual change; within a short week, we need to go from lazy beach lions to busy workers, managing a schedule, and sending our kids off to school the best we can.
In between the long, warm summer days of January and the December frenzy, we only get a few short months to prepare ourselves and admit that the days in the sun are nearly gone. February is the month to buckle up for, getting ready for change, and showing the rest of the world what we’re made of.
Here is how you can help your family to roll with the waves, managing transition in one, smooth go.
Kids should be eased into their school schedule gradually so that, when that bell first starts to ring, they’re feeling fresh as a daisy and ready to learn.
Remember to think about their meal plans as well, particularly if you have pre-schoolers, who’ll also need to adjust their meals according to school.
If you have pre-teens who are about to start secondary school, it’s also a good idea to map out a study schedule for them. You know better than any that you shouldn’t help your teenagers too much with their homework and you should certainly not be reminding them to do it – but with a handy study schedule, you’re giving them the tools to succeed on their own. I give the boys a break after school and they have between 5-6pm to do their homework, while I’m cooking dinner. If they haven’t finished in that hour, they can finish their work after dinner.
Get the routines and plans in place as early on as possible, so that they have time to adjust to it and adapt it to suit their routine.
When the school year starts, parents need to have a schedule more than any. Kids today have more after-school activities than former generations, and a large calendar can do a lot to lift some stress from your shoulders. Include everything you can think of in the calendar, including your own schedule, dentist appointments, upcoming birthday parties, and volunteer activities.
It should be your one-stop for organising your family’s schedule, while making sense out of the chaos.
While you’re already busy planning your schedules and mapping out the madness, you should also take a moment to think about the mid-week mornings. If they’re usually calm and controlled, you can go back to managing that schedule – but any breakfast table that is hurried, grumpy, and crazed should be dealt with accordingly.
If it’s the constant war of who should use the bathroom first, try to incorporate a schedule where someone may have to wake up fifteen minutes earlier to use it first. The same goes for the breakfast table; help each other with setting it the evening before, and make sure it’s easy for everyone to find something quick to eat for breakfast.
It will make your morning so much better and give everyone a head-start on their day, arriving well-fed and rested when the school bell rings and ready to learn.
Most children are excited to start the new school year, see their friends again, and get back to their regular routines. It’s, in fact, us grown-ups who need a helping hand to cope with all the change and sudden rush; these long, lazy summer days should last a bit longer!
A few preparations can take you a long way, though, calming your nerves a bit and making it easier to find clarity in the chaos. February is actually quite calm and soothing compared to this frenzy, so you can put your feet up when the worst is over, knowing that your household is well-prepared for the start of their school year.