When the going gets tough, the tough sometimes curl up in a ball on the floor.

That was me this week.

We started school, our “Logic” co-op kicked off (which meets at our house), I have a million work things to take care of, and our dog is sick…really sick.

It’s been one of those weeks, but I know I’m not alone in this journey. Across the nation, moms everywhere are curled up, wishing for the fun of summer, while still being thankful for cooler weather and the predictable nature of fall schedules.

Finding Balance In New Beginnings

So why is it that getting in the swing of things is so tough? Every year I say it will be a smoother start to the year and every time I’m struggling to find our groove.

Let’s look at a couple of culprits and ways to beat the back to school blues.

New routines are tough.

You’ve spent the summer staying up at night and sleeping later in the morning. Our minds see the new schedule, but our bodies just can’t adjust.

Gradual changes are the way to go for a smooth transition if your morning schedule will allow.

If your student has an iPhone, consider having them use the bedtime setting on their clock.
It’s the little bed picture in the center at the bottom of the clock page. When you set a bedtime, it will chime a reminder as that time approaches.

Simple things like laying out clothes, setting schoolbooks on the table or pre-planning a weekly menu are all helpful while your family adjusts.

Write it down…where you can find it.

I love the smell of new books. The clean pages, crisp binders and blank calendars give me a sense of new beginning. A fresh start, if you will.

Writing out a family plan a month or even a week at a time will remove the guesswork for your students. Rather than coming to you at the beginning of the day asking what the day’s assignments are, they can begin their day with a plan in place and learn to move efficiently from assignment to assignment. Sometimes the challenge lies in learning to use your written plan even when you get off schedule.

Don’t be discouraged if you’re not on schedule today! Look at what steps would get you back on track and decide together the best route to achieve your goal. If staying on schedule isn’t easy for your family, plan your material in smaller sections with goals that are attainable. This way, everyone can celebrate a job well done regardless of the time it took to get there.

If using a planner is new to you, start small. A simple Google Spreadsheet, wall calendar, or written spiral notebook is perfectly fine to use. As you become more accustomed to following an itemized schedule, you can explore additional task management options.

Don’t compare your progress.

We often find ourselves playing the comparison game. Everyone is excited to start the year, sharing new ideas along the way.

It’s very easy to become discouraged when your plans don’t seem to work as efficiently as a friend’s does. That’s the beauty of tailoring a system that works best for your family. Embracing the freedom to adjust as needed, guilt free, can set a relaxing tone to your school day.

Finally, allow yourself and your family the grace to settle into a good rhythm. Often, great things are found through trial and error.

Get up off the floor, embrace your new routine, and find a good balance of grace and success.

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