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

Random Acts of Green Canadian tour comes to Red Deer

Red Deerians are being encouraged to lessen their impact on the environment.… Continue reading

Red Deer economy bouncing back but slowly: report

While Red Deer’s economy has been in recovery mode for the past… Continue reading

Red Deer cyclist dead after being hit by vehicle

A Red Deer man was killed after being hit by a vehicle… Continue reading

Support for retaining ‘public’ in Alberta school titles could snowball, says local trustee

Even districts that never had the word in their titles are now discussing adding it

Multiple Oktoberfest events coming up in Red Deer

Red Deerians will have several chances to take part in one of… Continue reading

WATCH: 2019 Canada Winter Games will leave a lasting legacy, say organizers

It leaves Red Deer with the infrastructure and confidence to host future such events

Your community calendar

Wednesday Central Alberta Historical Society annual general meeting is 6 p.m. at… Continue reading

Couche-Tard wants to be a player in the sale of cannabis

LAVAL, Que. — Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. wants to be one of the… Continue reading

Michael Dawe: A safe supply of water has long been a priority for Red Deer

The oldest part of the Red Deer water treatment plant on 54th… Continue reading

New parent charged in admissions scam, linked to $400K bribe

BOSTON — A woman accused of paying $400,000 to get her son… Continue reading

Canadian stars Virtue, Moir say in video they’re “stepping away” from ice dancing

Canadian ice dancing stars Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir say they are… Continue reading

Bruce Cockburn avoids impulse to get political with lyric-less new album

TORONTO — If anyone is looking for activist folk singer Bruce Cockburn… Continue reading

13 seasons in, stars reflect on success of ‘Heartland,’ Canada’s ‘comfort food’

HIGH RIVER, Alta. — Alberta-born actor Shaun Johnston had already had a… Continue reading

N.S. senior whose birthday card request drew international response dies

SYDNEY, N.S. — A Nova Scotia widower who received thousands of birthday… Continue reading

Most Read