For me the start of a new school year has always seemed like the perfect time for setting New Year resolutions. Even before I had children there was something about the break from normal routine that summer vacations provided that energized me and had me looking forward to getting into a new routine for the upcoming autumn.
Now that I have three children in school the chance to sit down and think about the new school year ahead has become the most important back to school supply that we invest in as a family. Last year there were a lot of unknowns since we had just relocated and the kids were starting at American schools for the first time. This year we have all of that behind us and can focus on the finer details and not just the big picture.
One benefit of looking ahead to the school year before it has started is that it gives us a chance to engage with each other in what is called "the no problem space". This is exactly what teachers do when they set out the class room expectations during the first few days of school. At this early stage, before the day to day routine is in full swing, everyone has the energy and enthusiasm to look ahead versus trying to handle situations "in the moment" when emotions are more fragile. When something arises, which it inevitably will, we will have our new school yea
r resolutions to fall back on to keep us on track.
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We started our new school year resolution setting this morning over a pancake breakfast. We reflected back on what went well and what didn't go so well last school year. Homework routines came up and Cole is excited to try coming home and doing his homework first thing over a nice after school snack. Madison is going to work on her homework downstairs in the kitchen instead of in her room where she gets distracted by other activities. Donovan is just starting kindergarten so he and I talked about what he can expect for the first week with the staggered entry and we will plan a few fun activities so that he doesn't feel left out since he only goes in for one half day.
We have another morning planned this weekend to talk about managing extra curricular sports which are definitely going to take some juggling. I also know that enthusiasm for some activities can start to wane once school is in full force so we will talk about how we can make sure we all get enough sleep and follow through on the commitments we have made to various activities.
I can see that I need to do some good menu planning so that we are eating at a decent time each night and that I have those good after school snacks Cole is already looking forward to so that we start off on the right foot. After our talk I was inspired to pick up a magnetic planner for the kitchen so that I can have all activities in one place. I will also be making sure that I map out some time for a daily exercise routine that went by the wayside last year possibly because I didn't prioritise it.
We have one last trip coming up and we get back the day before school starts so we definitely need to be organized so that we return in the right frame of mind for the school year ahead. As the year goes by we can check back in and see how things are going and if we need to tweak anything. I can't believe how quickly the calendar is already starting to fill up!