Week 1 of school is complete! It can be crazy getting back into the routine of getting up early and maintaining the responsibilities demanded by a new school year. Each year, with more and more demands, I have to step-up my game and really make an effort to have my kids pitch in, be held accountable and have ownership of their responsibilities. Thankfully, they are great with lists. When things are written in a clear and consistent form, they know exactly what to do.
So this year, I have a few new lists so I don't have to nag them about every little to-do they need to complete each morning, afternoon and evening. Here's an example of our morning and afternoon lists. I put it next to them each morning at breakfast, and they have to check each one off with a pen. I'm thinking about putting them in a frame and using a dry erase pen so we can wipe it off each day and I'd save on paper and printer ink. #savetrees But they're really into checking things off and I don't have to nag about each item on the list. It's there, they see it, and they know they have to do it. #allofthem
Lunches are another area where preplanning is important. Last year the kids took lunch to school every day and never bought school lunches, that means a lot of extra work for me, but it's so worth it!! Living in the Arizona heat means that by the time it's time to eat, their lunch is warm and their ice packs are wet and warm (gross!!). This year I found these lunch boxes at PaperSource and they really keep things cold for an extended period of time…up to 10 hours. Yes, 10! And they REALLY work!! This has helped eliminated the need for cold packs that sweat and remembering to include one each day in their lunch boxes.
Have stuff ready: I have precut some vegetables (yellow, red and orange peppers; carrots; celery; cucumbers; etc) so I can easily pop them into their lunch box each day. I bought little containers to include in their lunches for any sauces they may need also. All of it fits into a nice little container that keeps the food separated nicely and prevents anything from getting crushed. Little preparations done the night before or a couple of days before, really help expedite the daunting school lunch making process.
These little things have helped the whole process of getting back into a routine so much easier. Hope those of you with school age kids have a smooth transition back into the rigors of school. :)