New School Year Resolutions

by - September 04, 2015

We are now two weeks into the new school year, and I thought my stress level would have drastically declined by now, but it hasn't. It's amazing that in the few hours of daylight my kids are home, they manage to trash the house and my vocal chords. I find myself repeating the same morning directives so often that I really could just create a recording of myself and broadcast it over the house.

CHANGE YOUR CLOTHES IF YOU WORE THEM YESTERDAY.

PUT ON YOUR SOCKS.

STAY IN YOUR SEAT UNTIL YOU ARE FINISHED EATING.

YOU ARE NOT ALLOW TO RIP TOYS FROM YOUR BROTHERS HAND.

NO TOYS AT THE TABLE ANYHOW.

TAKE IT DOWN A NOTCH.

EAT.

I'VE DONE ALL THE WORK THIS MORNING. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS PUT FOOD IN YOUR MOUTH AND CHEW.

IF YOU ARE FINISHED EATING, SCRAPE YOUR DISHES AND PUT THEM IN THE SINK.

It is absolutely exhausting, and it seems to rob our house of the love and peace that I wish were present at the start of every day. I'm working to address getting them into a routine so that I'm not required to be the morning dictator, and I have made adjustments to my routine and the house routine so that I feel less swallowed up by the hustle.

Here are my New School Year Resolutions:

  1. Simplify the morning routine
    Before school, I stick to the following tasks, the only fully essential ones for the next step, which is get them to school. Notice those tasks do not include answering my students' email (this can end up being a major time suck and throw me off-task) or go frolic in the garden.
    • Start the coffee
    • Make sure the kids have breakfast
    • Pack lunches while kids are eating
    • Consume coffee
    • If I'm going to the gym or running errands, find appropriate attire and check to make sure the boys have not dressed themselves in a really awful color or pattern combination.
  2. Play comes after we are dressed and fed.
    This one has helped motivate them to get done the eating and dressing more efficiently.
  3. Let the kids do the things they can do; do the things they can't.
    They can pick our their clothes and get dressed. They can prepare some breakfast items like anything in a wrapper or a bowl of cereal. I cook pancakes and eggs.
  4. No television before school
    We used to watch PBSKids in the morning. This always wiped out our motivation and focus.
  5. After school, immediately empty lunch boxes and check homework folders.
    This has cut back on stinking lunch boxes and missed forms.
  6. Toss finished/graded/returned worksheets.
    There is no more paper shuffle from the table to the floor to the bottom of the stairs to a box under the desk. Great, he completed another addition worksheet! Trash. Special art projects and and writing samples can be kept.
  7. Anything left out on the table or living room goes into the current "clutter bin".
    Family members have about two weeks to reclaim items in the clutter bin before they all get trashed. There are two clutter bins, rotated on a weekly basis. Nothing is safe from the clutter bin, so if you don't want it in there, put it where it belongs.

Speaking of the clutter bins, today is trash day, so I need to go empty one! Have a great Labor Day Weekend, friends!

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