Back to School: How to Get Back on Track

Brother Sister Waiting for Bus

Don’t you miss summer? I know I do. The only thing our family had on the calendar were items to check off the summer bucket list. Now, we’ve got homework, practices, lessons, chores, plus the added stress of trying to fit dinner in where we can.

It feels like everything is out of whack. I can’t keep the house clean and the kids can’t keep track of what they’re doing next.

It’s time to get organized.

HomeworkFather Helping Son with Homework

My daughter started high school this year. Yes, high school. Ugh! This has been a HUGE adjustment for her and the rest of us. She’s been having a hard time getting her homework organized, but through some trial and error, she found some things that worked for her:

  • Create a homework folder. Have your kids place all of their homework due for the following day in this special folder. That way, your kids won’t forget what needs to be turned in.
  • Utilize Sticky Notes. My kids take a packet of sticky notes to school with them so they can flag items needing immediate attention. Through this method, they’ve remembered to give me the necessary forms to be signed.
  • Use a planner. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Even a piece of paper will do, but having some sort of planner helps the kids remember the details of their assignments AND when they are due.

Practices/LessonsYoung Boys And Girls In Football Team  With Coach

If your kids are anything like mine, they’ve got practice every day and lessons each week. How do you fit all of this time-consuming stuff in with homework and everything else? Honestly, sometimes we don’t. But here are some things that have helped:

  • Carpool. See if other parents are available who live close by and offer to take turns driving to or from practice each week. This will really cut down on driving so you can maybe get some time to yourself (even if it’s only 20 minutes!).
  • Prepare in advance. Teach your kids to keep all the necessary gear in the same place so you’re not searching for it 10 minutes before game time. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been late because we couldn’t find a missing cleat.


I almost find it more of a chore just trying to get my kids to do theirs. My kids know when the dishes start piling up, it’s time to clean out the dishwasher. But even though they know it, that doesn’t mean they do it.

  • Chore wheel. Have a wheel of chores the kids spin to determine which chore they are assigned to that day/week. This can be a fun way to keep things entertaining but still get the jobs done.
  • Teamwork. For big tasks, such as cleaning out the litter box (my kids HATE this one!), have the kids work together to complete the job. You’ll hear a lot less complaining and gain a lot more camaraderie.

DinnersMother Daughter Cooking

This is the bane of my existence, and without fail, the one question I know I will hear as soon as I step foot in the door is: “What’s for dinner?” Here are some ideas to make dinnertime less stressful:

  • Crock-Pot® meals. Throw some chicken breasts in the Crock-Pot before you head out for the day, and have a lovely meal waiting for you when you return. There are lots of yummy Crock-Pot ideas around to make cooking simple.
  • Menu plans. Get your kids involved in planning out the menu for the week. If they feel more invested in what food will be served, they’ll be more likely to eat it.
  • Kid preparation. Again, when you get your kids involved, they will want to eat the food they are preparing. They will also gain an understanding of the time and effort it takes and hopefully appreciate your meals more.

I hope these ideas will help ease the burden of going back to school. It’s a stressful time, but an exciting one to watch our kids learn and grow. Best of luck, everyone!

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