This year is probably going to be one of the most stressful years of back-to-school that we’ve ever experienced. Even more than our first child going off to Kindergarten and even more than our last child graduating Kindergarten, this year marks some pretty major milestones and/or struggles for all the kids, and therefore, all the adults.
Kaeidyn goes from being an elementary school student to a middle school student, which means that she’s moving schools and will most likely be taking a city bus by herself for the first time in her life. Carter goes from half-days in Kindergarten to full days in Grade 1. Keirnan jumps from the grade where, as all the teachers say, “you’re learning to read“, to the grade where, “you’re reading to learn“. And Kenzie, who struggled with his reading quite a bit, goes into the next grade and we see how good or bad his reading ends up being.
There are so many things we need to do to get ready for this wonderful (and yet, totally terrifying) school year. Honestly, I’m not even sure where to start – so the following is listed in no order of importance, really, no order other than what my chaotic brain spits out.
Make Doctors Appointments
This has been on The List for so long and it still needs to be done, and especially as we go into this school year. All of us need to go in for physicals because we haven’t had one in over four years and not for lack of necessity, just for lack of motivation…
And not just general physicians. We all need to go see an optometrist as well and we already know that The Boyfriend is going to end up needing glasses. Finally, getting everyone in to see a dentist. Keirnan’s the only kid who has ever seen one and that’s something I seriously want to change.
We’ve already agreed that The Boyfriend has to set me up a spa day as a reward for making these calls.
Find Out About Middle School
They had an information night before school ended, but we weren’t able to go. Now I’m wishing I would’ve done more to ensure that I was there, because I feel like we are so ill prepared for Kaeidyn’s first day of school. She keeps talking about needing this and that, I have no idea where I’m supposed to put this and that. It’s all just a stressful ball of unknowingness.
Get School Supplies
We’re waiting for the lists to come out on this one and hopefully we won’t leave it to the last minute like we’ve done almost every year prior to this. It’s always amazing to us how hard this process can be and how much of a headache it causes everyone.
Along with the regular school supplies, every year we get the kids two new pairs of shoes (one for indoors and one for outdoors) and a first day of school outfit. This year, they are probably also likely to need new backpacks and at least one of them has grown out of their jackets from last year. Hopefully we’ll get the masses of laundry under control so that we’ll have a better idea of what’s needed in terms of clothing before school starts.
Adjust Sleeping Schedules
As soon as summer hit, all of our sleep habits became completely erratic. The older three left for the month to their Dad’s and followed his late evening work schedule, often staying up until he got home from work after midnight. The Boyfriend, Carter and I completely and easily adjusted to The Boyfriend’s graveyard sleeping schedule and are more likely to be sleeping during the day and waking during the night.
It’s especially important with Carter going into full days this year that we adjust our sleep schedules and in a better time frame than the night before school starts. We’re hoping to start making all the kids stick to their normal, regular, school-time bedtimes after this weekend and hopefully I won’t take long to follow in their footsteps.
Create a General Routine
Many of you know, it’s long been a goal of mine to create routines in my life and I generally tend to suck intensely at doing it. I’m not saying it has to be perfect or even good, but I’d like to have some sense of organization going into this school year.
Big important things include a regular laundry schedule, a regular homework and reading time (in which Mommy ensures their agendas get signed and any papers that I need to know about get seen – because it was such a big problem every year before this…), a set dinnertime and specific chores that the kids have to do to help us keep the house clean during the school year, because it always seems to go downhill then.
Clean, Clean, Clean!
Since we’re on the subject, I really would like to get the house clean as part of the back-to-school readiness. I’d like for the first day back at school, not a single one of us stressing out over any messes. I’d like all the laundry to be done, all the dishes to be put away, the floors to be mopped and the cobwebs to be vacuumed out of the corners of our basement.
I want my table set up and ready for the kids to use for homework, I want my bookshelf neatly organized with a space specifically for all the books they’ll be bringing home. I want to get rid of all the crappy, worn-out, raggedy furniture that we’ve currently got and replace it with less crappy, worn-out and raggedy furniture. I want all the stuff to have its place and be tidy.
In a Perfect World…
If we lived in a perfect world, I wouldn’t have to worry about any of this stuff because I would be homeschooling my kids year round. Alas, that will always remain the elusive dream.
In a less perfect, and yet still entirely perfect world, I wouldn’t have to deal with middle school because we’d live closer to where I grew up and there was no such thing as middle school.
And finally, in a perfect world, I would not leave so many things until a month before school starts…