There is always an element of “crazy” when families make the shift from summer break to school. Saying good-bye to lazy days, sleeping in, and a slower pace of life is always hard. Even as a homeschool family, we struggle. There are new routines to adjust to and more activities to add back into our schedules. Real life sets in.
With the switch from vacation mode, there is often a lot of extra stress and frustration. Kids don’t want to start back to “work.” Let’s admit it, sometimes we don’t want summer to end either. Everything just seems to feel busier . . . and harder.
Whether your school year already started or you are getting ready to make the transition back to school, I wanted to share some practical tips with you on how to try to keep your sanity intact during this season of change.
1. Pray up.
Anytime I know I’m heading into a busy season in our family’s schedule, I try to make sure I’m prioritizing time in the Word and in prayer first thing in the morning. Not that I don’t prioritize it during slower seasons of life. But during busy times, I know that I need to lean in on the Lord and draw my strength from Him.
2. Prepare for crazy.
Sometimes just preparing mentally for the fact that it’s going to take a few weeks to adjust to the new “norm” for our days is half the battle. I make a list of things that I know I’d like to get done before we start back to school and slowly make my way through the list. I prioritize things by what “has to” get done and by what I can put off until later in the year. Sometimes just having things written down helps me to relax more and not feel like I’m going to forget something.
3. Plan for fun.
We like to plan a big “End of Summer” party at some point before we start up the school year. However, we’ve been known to do it well into September, too as a “back to school” party. I keep it simple. Sometimes it’s nothing more than having friends over for pizza and s’mores. Other times, we put up a tent in the backyard and “camp” with friends. One way or another, we have s’mores.
4. Set reminders.
This has been my new “secret sauce” to sanity. I set reminders on my phone all day long. I add reminders to appointments and to-do’s on the calendar on my phone and computer. But as I need to get things done . . . like start dinner . . . I’ll tell my buddy Siri to set an alarm for 4:30pm, so I remember to preheat the oven and get dinner started. Again, this frees up my mind from worrying about getting people fed.
5. Leave your crock pot on the counter.
Speaking of dinner plans, this is the perfect season to give your crock pot or instant pot a starring role in your dinner plans. Grab all your favorite recipes to throw in your “pot” of choice and plan to make as many meals as possible in them.
Hang in there, mom. Sometimes it just takes time to get back into the swing of things again. Slow down where you can and looks for moments to steal away and get a little break for yourself. Before you know it, we’ll be circling back to summer again.
Blessings and joy,