This past week acted as the “line of demarcation” for our family. From now on everything is different. Summer is officially coming to a close. My wife spent hours filling out medical forms and paperwork for the school so that our kids could participate in sports and attend various classes. We were reminded about the need for figuring out our Fall budget. And we’ve discovered conflicting events that have already been scheduled. Needless to say, it’s going be very important that we have all our ducks in a row before school officially begins. This year we will have one child in preschool, one child in the Elementary School, one child in the Intermediate School, one child in the Middle School, and one child in the High School. (CRAZY!!!!)
So as we we’re making our checklists, I was reminded that we needed to add a couple more items to this list.
Along with crayons, markers, paper, and all that jazz, we’re going to need to be sure we include:
A Synchronized Calendar, Good Communication, and Family Values
A Synchronized Calendar
You have heard me say it before, and I guarantee this will not be the last – getting all of our schedules onto one calendar is essential. Too many times we overlap events, miss opportunities, and cause so much undue stress simply because we’re not aware of everybody’s schedule.
There are many calendar apps out there that will help you with this. Our family simply uses Google Calendar. Google Calendar allows me to have a calendar for my work, my wife to have one for our family, and each of our girls to have one for their school and sporting events. Because of the ability to share all of these calendars with one another we minimize the possibility to overlap.
Much like the calendar, it’s vital that the start of the school year brings with it better communication. With so many events going on through sports, school, church, and clubs it’s going to be vital for us as parents to be sure that we have a good relationship and clear communication with all coaches, teachers, and helpers. As the school year starts, be sure to utilize this time to get to know your child’s teachers. I understand that many parents are excited for the school year to begin so they can take a step back and relinquish responsibility over to teachers and coaches; however, this really is not the time. This is the time to engage. Establish a pattern of good communication early on and it will carry you through the rest of the year.
With the busy schedule, always comes conflicting values. Be sure that you take this time, at the start of the year, to reassessed your values as a family. Events and opportunities always need to be weighed against your family values. Too many times we believe that it is our job as parents to give our children every opportunity possible for growth… this belief is often times reinforced by the School and PTO’s. The problem is – it’s just not true. Our children don’t need every experience they need the right ones. The only way that you won’t get sucked into “overnights and over-commitments” is by weighing the opportunities against what your family values.
There is no way to get around the busyness that occurs at the end of summer. Just be sure that you stay in control of your schedule instead of allowing it to control you.