Monday, September 3, 2012

1 Year to an Organized Life - September Week One

This week you can:

  • look at your past experiences of the school year
  • see what you are creating for your children
  • discover the genius of routines
  • learn how to create a positive outlook
We are back to some great journaling questions this week.  Look back at your own school experiences to see if they are influencing how you treat back to school time now with your kids.  The questions can be very insightful....don't skip them!

I'm going to focus on routine in this post, while the chapter covers a few other things.  As an educator for 15 years, I can tell you how important routine is!  Kids, and most human beings for that matter, crave routine, and boundaries.  Every family varies, so I can't tell you a single routine that will work for everyone, but most have some of the same components.  

First and foremost, a set bedtime and get up time.  This includes the weekends!!  Maybe if you and your child can handle it you could give or take an hour on the weekends, but trust me...but better yet, experience it for yourself for will be surprised at how much better your body works on a regular schedule.  Bodily functions, thinking, energy, everything is enhanced with the proper sleep, and if your body "sees" that it is going to get the same amount everyday, it focuses on tasks more than survival.  Don't believe me?  Google'll see!

Next, decide how many activities each child will be involved in.  Your child does not need to sign up for every club, sport or activity known to man just because the neighbor kids are or just because they think it's cool today, but will forget about it next week.  Your lives also should never be dictated by Susie's soccer games or Johnny's swim meets.  These activities are meant to enhance our lives, not rule them!

Now it's time to make a schedule.  You can get very fancy with this.  There are companies that sell cute-sie and/or very detailed charts with pockets and all kinds of bells and whistles.  Or you could be simple like I did in the above pic.  This is a magnet tablet.  I have one column for each kid, and one column for dinner.  Then for each kid, things are color coded.  Activities are one color, sports another, chores another, etc.  The kids check off when they have completed a chore or activity and then they see that the rest of their day is free time, or family time.

Schedules and routines are great for adults too.  When you know something is set, it takes away all the last minute scrambling and stress.  I used to think I was freer to fly by the seat of my pants, but it's not true.  I have never felt more free and stress-less than when I've got a plan in place.

Give it a shot, it will be worth it!

Until Next Time.....

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