10 Back to School Things

School is back in and has been for a couple of weeks!  Hooray!  

Summer felt nice and long this year and, though the kids would never admit it, we were all ready for school to begin.

We are off to a good start, everyone seems to be adjusting to new schedules, teachers, routines.  The kids have only told me a few times that they wish it were still summer vaca!  

10 Back to School Things

1- Job Charts

We take a break from our job charts/allowance system during the summer.  Our schedule is so different with travel and play that we move to something completely different.

At the beginning of each school year we reset.  We review what work/jobs are being done, do we add any, change days, take anything off?   I make a new chart for everyone, we kick it off with a family meeting (which we then have every week), review expectations, consequences, money etc.

This brings order and joy to our home.  It's amazing how work and responsibility can affect our family, because it really does affect us each individually.  Our home is much happier when the routine of work and responsibility is in place.

2 - Second and Third Grade

I can believe O is in third grade.  He seems bigger to me.  I can't believe my E is in second grade.  Is that weird?  When people ask what grades my kids are in, I about spit out that my youngest is still in K.  

E has told me several times he wants to go back to first grade.  It was just a couple of days ago that he seemed to settle in and tell me he is now ok being in second grade.  

3 - Separation

These two have been like fire and ice at the end of summer.  School is so good to give them each some space from each other, to have separate friends, separate interests, separate work.  Some separation is good!  They come home and almost like each other again!  I tell you our house was turning into a battle ground!  Did I tell you I was glad school has started?  It has been peaceful here during the days! :)

4 - Be Cool, Don't Smile

There were some nerves the first day of school!  These two were very excited, and anxious!  As the bus pulled up, they both went still and E said to O, 'Just be cool... don't smile.'  WHAT?  Did my littlest just tell his big brother to be cool?  Awesome!  I told them both it's cool to smile!  It's great to be excited.  Not sure they believed me!

5- Eighth Grade

Q was one that didn't really want to move up a grade.  She's not convinced being at the top of the totem pole is all that.  She is taking a high school science class and has been encouraged (forced) to get involved in something/anything by her parents!  She has decided to try yearbook club, maybe art club, and (fingers crossed) mayyyybe track in the spring.  There has already been drama at school, as there is sure to be, and she has written us a very persuasive essay as to why she should have a phone!  She continues to impress me as we sail the waters of teen-years together.

6 - Seventh Grade

This guy is ready for whatever you throw his way, or so I thought.  He told me he wanted to quit band this year!  What?  I totally didn't see that coming.  His excuse was that it added homework, because you get pulled out of class for private lessons.  Hmmmm not good enough!  We said no, and went to buy him a new trumpet!   He is much to good to quit.  He is taking advanced math and science, apparently is a ladies man, tried out for volleyball - didn't make it, has read like 7 books already this school year, and has been asking his sister for her advice as he gets dressed.

7 - Closer 

These two were good buddies when they were little.  They had drifted apart for a while and are now finding each other again, in a new way.  It is fun to hear them laughing together at night, talking about school, hearing Q laugh as G talks about his friend, who Q thinks is cute.  They see each other at school and talk, know each other's friends, and like that they are siblings.  Of course they still bicker as siblings do, but unlike the little's where school is good to separate, school is bringing these two together.  It is so good.

8 - First Day Doughnuts

Tradition.  Paula's Doughnuts to welcome my kiddies home from their first day.  I made a special trip, they appreciated it.  

We made Gatorade popsicles Tuesday and Wednesday and I made rice krispies for them.  Surely this won't last, but for these first couple of weeks it's been fun to welcome the kids home with treats!

9 - My Favorite Thing

Hands down my favorite thing about school being in session is that my kitchen is closed for most of the day!  Seriously.  Summer is like buffet season!  There is always grazing, food out, messes I've asked to be cleaned up, cups on the counter, dishes in the sink, the floor is only clean for a 5 minute window, just after it's been vacuumed.  I spend hours a day making food and cleaning it up because the little people can't seem to drop their wrapper in the trash on the way out to play!  Yea for a kitchen that is actually closed during most of the day!  

10 - Mommy New Year

Back to school really is a reset time for me.  I find myself reevaluating life this time every year.  When the kids go back to school what do I intend to do with my time?  How can I be more efficient?  What will I spend my time doing?  Is it worthwhile, do I need to make changes? What goals do I have, what projects are on the horizon?  So on and so forth.

I have been sort of in a holding pattern with laying this out because the only thing I could see ahead of me was that Ragnar!  Now it's over, life is back to normal, so it's time to lay out my year, make some goals, grow in new ways, figure out what I want out of this next year.  Yea for the new school year!


- Do you have back to school traditions?

- What is your favorite thing about back to school?

- Are you a goal setter?