Back-to-school routine machine

Getting your well-oiled school-routine machine back into working order is not easy. During the summer months, kids get used to waking up later, everybody gets used to more varied schedules (with lots of time for physical activities) and there’s no homework to contend with, freeing you all up to do more things.

Getting your well-oiled school-routine machine back into working order is not easy.

During the summer months, kids get used to waking up later, everybody gets used to more varied schedules (with lots of time for physical activities) and there’s no homework to contend with, freeing you all up to do more things.

But with each passing day, we get a step closer to those militaristic school routines.

Spare yourself and your family the summer-ending shock with these simple ideas that prepare you to go back to school.

Sarah on “Good Calendar Habits”

Set up a family-communication station complete with a “family appointment book.” I suggest a letter-sized planner with plenty of space to write down everything from football games to company meetings and dinner plans. The entire family should know what’s going on at work, at school, after school and socially so no one gets double-booked or overwhelmed. If you use a digital calendar, update it every morning so nothing gets lost in the shuffle.

With the various activities your kids will be involved in this fall, the sooner you organize who is picking them up when and where, the better.

As soon as you get the calendars from their school, sit down and put them in your digital calendar.

At the same time that you do that, update your contact lists and address books with their new teachers, coaches and carpool buddies.

That way, you’ll have important information available if you need it in a pinch.

Alicia on “Utilizing Chore Delegation”

You should not be taking care of the home on your own! Organize a chore chart with appropriate chores for each child, depending on age. Ask nicely for help, but set up the expectations and rules before the busy days of school start.

For example, try the two-minute commercial-break chore. Have your kids take out the trash or put the silverware away during the commercial breaks of their favorite after-school TV shows. Most of the chores you give them don’t take more that 10 or 15 minutes anyway, but they won’t feel like they are missing out on anything if they do them during commercials.

Here are a few more ways to stay on track during the new school year:

1. Think long-term — Keep a two-month, laminated calendar in a central place like the kitchen, mudroom or laundry room. Every family member can have his or her own color marker to write in upcoming activities. With that in one place, everyone will know what is coming up.

2. Give your kids the tools to manage their own schedule — Give your children planners of their own along with some incentives for getting into the habit of using them. For example, give them one sticker for each day they write in all of their homework assignments and activities. If they get a full week of stickers, reward them with a special dessert on Friday night (or even with a later bedtime on the weekends).

3. The clutter ate my homework — Get rid of that nasty paper pile on the counter with individual boxes or colour-coded magazine boxes for each child. In each box, have folders for items that need to be read/signed by Mom and Dad, an “In” folder and an “Out” folder.

After you sign the papers and your kids do their homework, it goes into the “Out” folder and then into the backpack. Anything that is included in newsletters, like the school festival or field trips, is immediately written on the large family calendar and in the family-agenda notebook.

The writers are co-founders of Buttoned Up, a company dedicated to helping stressed women get organized. Send ideas and questions to yourlife@getbuttonedup.com

Just Posted

Red Deer group looking to keep roads safe for cyclists

A Red Deer cycling group is concerned about road safety after multiple… Continue reading

Smoke and pets do not mix

Take care of your pets during the smoky weather

Former Red Deer lawyer sentenced

Charges included possession of stolen property

Man causes mischief with axe in Ponoka

Arson and attempted break and enter charges laid

WATCH: Raising money for kids at the Gord Bamford Charity Golf Classic

Former NHL players, Olympians, pro rodeo circuit members and musicians teed off… Continue reading

Oilpatch fears delays as U.S. judge orders further review of KXL pipeline route

CALGARY — Potential delays in the completion of the Keystone XL pipeline… Continue reading

‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin dies at 76

NEW YORK — Aretha Franklin, the undisputed “Queen of Soul” who sang… Continue reading

Arrests in Burnaby, B.C., as order against Kinder Morgan protest camp enforced

BURNABY, B.C. — The RCMP arrested protesters Thursday as officers enforced a… Continue reading

‘Hot and dirty work:’ Commander describes fighting massive Ontario wildfire

BRITT, Ont. — From a helicopter flying over a smouldering swath of… Continue reading

Calgary Fire Department logs record opioid overdose calls in July

CALGARY — The Calgary Fire Department says there were a record number… Continue reading

RCMP in Burnaby, B.C., say Kinder Morgan protest camp to be dismantled

BURNABY, B.C. — The RCMP arrested protesters when officers enforced a court… Continue reading

Study: Smokers better off quitting, even with weight gain

NEW YORK — If you quit smoking and gain weight, it may… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month