Managing the Business of the School Year

altIt's just a few weeks into the school year, and already I feel like my head is spinning out of control. And I know I am not alone.

The start of the school year signals the start of homework, sports, dance class, music lessons and more for kids across America. It also signals the start of new routines, new expectations, new pressures and new challenges for families. If you’re trying to manage the business that comes along with the school year, get organized, sit down, consider your schedule and create a road map for your week. Get the biggest dry erase calendar you can find, give each person in the family a color and write their schedule on it. Have a place for all things school and extracurricular so you aren’t forced to go on early morning scavenger hunts looking for missing items. Plan out your meals the week before, shop and prep as much as you can on the weekend and stick to your scheduled meal plan. Get into the groove. Embrace routine! It’s your best friend. Get your family into a routine that works for you, not against you.

One sure way to get a jump on things, is to set your alarm to get up 15 minutes before everyone else, so you can meet your needs before trying to meet the needs of others. Set realistic expectations. While Ava may want to do both soccer and dance, realistically, it simply may not be possible. Consider schedules, finances, workloads, transportation requirements and the level of commitment needed before embarking on a new venture. Evaluate your expectations and be sure they are realistic. Don’t be afraid to cut back where needed. Say no. Someone once told me “No” is not a bad word. They were right. Make it a personal rule to never say yes when asked something on the spot. Allow yourself time to think about and carefully consider what you may be getting into before answering. While it can be hard to say no, it can be even harder to make the impossible happen after you’ve given your word. When you get organized, get into a groove, set realistic expectations and say no when necessary, you can reign in the business and make life during the school year more manageable.