After spending the summer driving my kids all over the place for their activities and listening to them bicker, I’m ready!! While I am sad, because I really do enjoy having them around and the freedom and flexibility that summer brings, I’m also ready for them to go back. Since it takes some time to get back into the groove of the school-year routine, I like to seize that opportunity to make changes in our schedule. I once read when routines are changing it is the perfect time to deliberately make changes in what and how we do things around the house. The start and end of a vacation are perfect opportunities to revisit the responsibilities and privileges each kid has. It’s actually easier to shake things up, rather than wait until we’ve gotten set in our old patterns.
What should their regular jobs be?
I have a favorite resource when it comes to the kids’ responsibilities. Mrs. Cleanjeans Housekeeping with Kids is my go-to for figuring out what to have my kids do around the house. When I first read her book, I was thrilled to find each and every household cleaning job broken down by age groups. It really helped me figure out ways to get the kids involved with cleaning up. It also gave me more ideas on what they could do so they were contributing to the household in ways that were truly helpful while giving them a real sense of accomplishment. So, I try to re-evaluate and modify the expectations for each of my kids every year as they have grown and become more capable. The start of the school year is a great time to mark that growth in capability with increased responsibility.
Are their privileges appropriate too?
In addition to re-evaluating the household tasks that each of my kids is responsible for, I also take a hard look at some of the other routines and practices we have in our house. Everything from bedtimes, how homework gets done, and how they earn their privileges. I also try out things I’ve read about or heard about from friends. Electronic privileges are a big one. We have a one hour time limit in our house. But enforcing that has always been a challenge. Use the start of the new school year to try a new system, and see if it works better than the old one.
Back to school, in a whole new groove!
While we have the regular back-to school planning, new clothes and school supplies, I’m also researching new levels of responsibility for my kids, finding new, fun, easy chore charts, and new house rules. I’m getting ready to completely overhaul what we’re doing to make it better. Well, better for me anyways! Better for my kids too, they just don’t know it yet! And I’m going to tie it all in with the start of their new grade level. It’s going to be a whole new groove to go with the new school year!