The inner educator in me instantly gets excited with the thought of prepping for a new school year! What supplies will be on the supply list? Crap! They are growing like weeds and need new clothes and shoes! What teachers will my children have? What will the holiday breaks look like? What can I color code on our various calendars? Yes, that Type A elementary teacher will always be alive with excitement and giddiness when the end of August rears its head.
It is true that consistent organization is key to alleviating future stressors that can sneak up unexpectedly when the beginning of the school year presents itself. A few organizational tips and tricks that have worked wonders for this fellow working Momma that is living with MBC are as follows:
Weekly Breakfast/Lunch Prep: Trying to figure out a nutritious breakfast for my kiddos typically isn’t too difficult, but when that early morning crunch time occurs, the stress is all too real. The last thing I want is for my children to feel rushed or agitated due to my own scatterbrain-ness. (I truly feel that children are like animals and can sense moods.) Pinterest has been such a wonderful side kick in our lives. There are so many options and simplistic recipes that allows you to make breakfast/lunch in bulk for the week, or even for a freezing option. I have created my own file on Pinterest and every Saturday/Sunday I select a different or the same recipe to make for the upcoming week, and it eases the tension and works like a charm. Stress-free in the morning is the way to definitely attempt to be!
Individualized Bring Homework: Clutter…..I detest CLUTTER! It does not matter how many children you have or what age they are, they always bring home newsletters, papers that must be filled out and signed, completed work, projects, and the list goes on and on. Due to all the lovely medication my brain has been on throughout the years, processing and that working memory portion can come to a sudden standstill just like a car in a traffic jam. By creating an area dedicated for a “school zone” has been such a life savor in our house. We selected to put ours in the mudroom, so as soon as the kiddos’ unpack their bookbags, their papers go directly into their individualized trays. If you do not have a designated “command center” it is highly recommended.
Begin Each Day with a Positive Thought: Everyday is a new beginning; therefore, in our house we welcome that day with a positive thought to yourself or to others. Words of affirmation are so much easier to utilize when they are directed to another. I for one love giving compliments and kind words to others, but when I am forced to personally receive them, it is so damn difficult. This daily ritual is completed by, my children looking at themselves in the mirror, and saying an “I like the way…….” Or “Today will be a fantastic day because……” I promise we are not trying to raise conceited or egocentric children. Our aim is to enable them to see that they are the true guide of their days, and keeping the day afloat all about keeping a positive perspective.
End Each Day with a Glow/Grow: How a day is ended, is just as important as to how the day begins. Ending each day on a positive note is crucial for everyone. My husband and I were gifted with a multitude of “marital wisdom” prior to our wedding, and one particular tip that was presented to us, and well, it just stuck, was…..”never go to bed angry.” Within a partnership this rings loud and true, and we have found ourselves including our own children with this piece of advice as well. Before they go to bed, we ask them to tell us “a glow they had during the day” (something that they were proud of or enjoyed) and “a grow they experienced” (something that was difficult or possibly hurtful to them.) Fostering open communication with our children is an important skill that we value. It has not only allowed us to formulate deeper relationships with each of them, but it has taught us as parents to slow down, just listen and be present. These little people are growing up so fast, and I for one want to soak up as much as I can.
In our household, building that positive mindset, is another important organization tool we like to reinforce. When you think of a new school year, the emotional and intrinsic facets can be easily overlooked; however, creating that platform, that not only physically provides organization, but also evokes an opportunity for mental organization is key.
Happy 2021-2022 to all the children, parents, and educators out there!