3 Helpful Reminders for Back to School Procrastinators
Every year I declare it won’t sneak up on me and every year I fail.
All of a sudden I get an email from the school reminding me about Meet The Teachers night and I look at the calendar and I think, “What the what?! It can’t be!”
And yet there it is, circled on my calendar: The First Day of School
The mad dash begins. I would love to tell you I am one of those organized moms. I could say the words but it wouldn’t be true. This year I have two in high school and one in junior high = you’d think I have this all figured out.
I get a hold of school supply lists and go from store to store trying to find the elusive strange thing some teacher has decided they MUST have. One year it was purple pens; this year it’s neon-colored index cards.
There are sports physicals, new lunch boxes to buy, shoes and uniforms. All of a sudden my brain is about to explode as I try to remember everything that HAS to happen.
You may be like us and started your back to school prep this week (yep…Monday) or you might still be in the last days of summer. Regardless, I think there are some things that can take the pressure off in the first weeks:
3 Back To School Reminders For Procrastinating Moms Like Me
1. Buy Only the Supplies They NEED
There are things on the list they can’t function without in the first week, and things that can wait. The teacher would LIKE boxes of tissues but they don’t NEED 25 boxes on day one. Also, don’t be afraid to buy “cheap” on the items you can. We all know Crayola has the best crayons, and if the box is going to last the year, well then splurge away. But generic sticky notes? They work just fine. Identify the folders, notebooks and supplies they MUST have, and then space everything else out.
2. Remember the Routine
Sit down and have a chat with your kids, reminding them of the school routine. This might need to happen more than once in the first few weeks. What are the expectations for wake up, sleep time and chores? If you are anything like us, so many systems get thrown out in the summer time. Now is the time to put them back into place. Don’t be afraid to create a routine for your older kids, too.
Here’s our sample back to school routine:
- Technology (except for reading) is off by 9:30. This stops the habit of watching videos or texting until late.
- At that same time everyone heads to their rooms. They don’t have to go to sleep yet, but they need to start shutting down for the day and unwinding their minds. They can read or get ahead on homework (I have one of those) but otherwise it’s time to disconnect for the day.
- Then sleep because they need it. My 14-year-old son who is just starting a growth spurt doesn’t think he needs a bedtime, but the other morning he said, “I hate to admit it, but I feel rested.” Give boundaries even when they resist; they need them.
3. Grace All Around
We have three kids at home playing in three different sports and two have PE every day. This means each morning they have to remember all of the following:
- PE clothes,
- practice clothes,
- knee pads,
- cheer bags,
- football bag with pads and uniform,
- protein snacks for after school,
- and themselves.
PLUS two out of three need to make sure their phones are charged and on silent so they can call if they are done early due to weather.
This list does not even include the pile of papers and emails we parents receive along with things that need to be signed and returned.
And as if that’s not enough (!!!), our kids are stressed because it is the first week of school. Will their friends they haven’t seen in months still be their friends? Will this new challenge be TOO challenging? Will teachers or concepts be too difficult?
There is A LOT going on and it takes about a month for everything to smooth out. I repeat: it takes a month to smooth out.
In the meantime, everyone needs a little a lot of grace. Give it away to yourself and your kids freely.
I know before I blink the school year will be over and I will vow again next summer to be ready for day one. Chances are good, however, that I will not break my bad habit.
But for now I’m going to pretend that I will, and hope that all of us will have a good start to this new school year.