WT 123: Back to School

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Question 1: Karen summer has been so relaxing with slow mornings, I know when school starts back up things are going to feel crazy again - any tips for easing back into our regular school schedule?

Karen's Answer:  Whew! Back to school can be a BIG adjustment.  One way for easing back in is a few weeks out start putting the kids to bed a little earlier, to get them used to it.  You can also set your alarm clock earlier than normal to start helping your body adjust to the new time. ( I always wanted to sleep in as long as I could though). About a week out, go and get back to school supplies and let your kids pack their backpacks, so you aren’t doing that the night before school starts. Like anything, after two weeks, the new schedule will be old, but it is an adjustment!  Have a positive attitude.


Question 2: How did you handle homework with your kids? When should I be checking in on what they need to do or what they should be bringing home with them and when should that become their responsibility?

Karen's Answer: Great question! I learned from a teacher that 3rd grade is the magical year where your child needs to start being responsible for the own work. Once I heard that adopted that philosophy and it works! Develop thick skin for the push back on “mom” doing the homework.  Remember you’ve already been to school and completed it, you don’t need to go back through.

Question 3: I am the mother of 3, ages 14 (girl), 10 (girl), and 9 (boy).  You give me hope that I WILL survive the teen years!!!   Our oldest has a hard time getting out the door in the mornings.  I wake her up over an hour before we need to be out the door.  She is still 5-10 minutes late and NEVER gets in the car with her shoes on.  Ha!  We feel like we have tried just about everything from giving her 10, 5, and 1 minute warnings to actually leaving her.  Nothing seems to be working.  She is entering high school this year and we have to get this under control.  HELP!

Karen's Answer: I would get her an old fashioned alarm clock, one that is really loud.  Put it on the opposite side of her bed, in her room and do not go shut it off when it goes off. I would also tell her that in HS if she is late a certain amount of times she will get detention. Last thing, set expectations at the beginning of the year and stick to them. Set your mind that you are not going to rescue her. Getting in the car with no shoes is fine, she’s in the car. 


Question 4: I am the kind of mom that says yes to everything at my kids' school: room mom, sports, after-school activities, volunteering at the school, PTA... how can I be committed but not spread myself too thin?

Karen's Answer: Bless you! I think only you can answer that question.  Some people are more high capacity than others, so you have to decide.  I would ask myself if all these activities are making you lose margin in other areas of your life, like your housework, taking time to invest in yourself, your marriage.  If you don’t see that it is infringing on your life then do it. I hated all that stuff.  I had four children, a full time job and a husband that traveled, I didn’t want to do all those things. But that is just me. Ask your husband what he thinks and really listen.

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