We’re in the home stretch – only a few days left until summer starts, and we are LIMPING towards the finish line over here. It’s taking huge amounts of discipline to not give into the pleading to stay home each day. I don’t know how the kids are holding out against me, I’m pretty persuasive. But the girls INSIST on going to school every day…I’m not sure where I went wrong with them.
So in the interests of self-improvement, self-awareness and self-flagellation, I decided to dust off my New School Year Resolutions from last August and see how I did.
Ask the kids each day if they have homework. If they say yes, make sure they do it. If they say no, check their back packs.
C+ – I did really well with one of the kids on this. It took me about five months to realize the other one was supposed to be doing math homework online EVERY day. This is what happens when you bring a toddler to the open house night where they explain all of this – you miss vital information when you rush over to keep him from pulling the reading corner apart.
Pack a nutritious lunch each day. Ok, every other day. Ok, ok, at least twice a week.
A- – I packed “nutritious” lunches for most of the school year – the last six weeks have seen a lot of granola bars, juice boxes and peanut butter crackers. However, I also got the girls to start packing their OWN nutritious lunches, which is what took me from a B+ to an A-.
Develop a relationship with the childrens’ teachers. Email relationships count.
A+– My girls had seriously awesome teachers this year. Communication was easy and effortless. I still get credit for trying, though.
Avoid PTO flyers. Give them my husband’s cell number and email address if they ask for contact info. (Some people are super awesome PTO parents. They’re gifted and involved and efficient. I am not one of these people, and it’s really best for all concerned if I stay out of their way.)
A+ – Done and done. I avoided so many flyers I got follow up notifications to see if I received the original request. I’m so awesome.
If the teacher has a treasure box, make donations to it throughout the year. Those treats are paid for out of the teacher’s pocket.
NA– No treasure boxes in the kids’ classrooms this year. Maybe they’re getting too old for this one…which is kind of sad, actually. I wouldn’t mind a treasure box when I do well. It could be filled with Hershey bars, Amazon gift cards and those mini wine bottles.
Hide all clothes I don’t want the kids to wear to school. Those are the ones they always choose to dress themselves in.
B-– I got the against school code ones put away. What I didn’t count on was my oldest’s desire to wear hoodies every single day. Every. Single. Day.
Institute a daily chore list and enforce it.
F– I failed MISERABLY at this. The constant whining after week four did me in. I finally caved and just made them do random chores whenever I felt like it. Which actually was it’s own kind of fun.
Be consistent with bedtime so the kids get enough sleep.
A++– We are nothing if not consistent with bedtime around here. That is one routine you do not mess with.
Wake up before the children each day and drink a cup of coffee so I can speak to them intelligibly, and so I can see well enough to catch them before they walk out the door in the clothes that were supposed to be hidden.
A– I got the waking up part, and the coffee part – not so sure on the “intelligibly” part.
Encourage the kids to make new friends in addition to their old ones.
C– How many friends do you really need? It’s more about quality than quantity, right??
Have healthy after school snacks on-hand and easy to find.
B– Other than the last few months we did pretty well with this. Somehow those goldfish and fruit snacks started sneaking in lately. They’re just so easy and delicious. Isn’t that always the way?
Find the school year calendar and record it on the family calendar so we can avoid those awkward mornings at the bus stop when we’re waiting forever, only to find out it’s actually teacher in-service.
A– I’m proud to say we recognized every school holiday this year. There was that slight misunderstanding with Muffins with Mom, but I’m pretty sure the kids forgot about it, so I’m not counting it.
Take advantage of online grade books and cafeteria records.
C-– I have zero clue where to find the online grade book. The information may have come home in the ream of paperwork from the first week of school. Maybe I’ll find it when I clean out the office next month. We tried the cafeteria records, but I turned off the notifications at some point because I got tired of the spam…”your daughter has a school cafeteria balance of 5.95.”“your daughter has a school cafeteria balance of 3.95.” “send money soon, your daughter has a school cafeteria balance of –“ ALRIGHT ALREADY, LEAVE ME ALONE.
Don’t lose any more library books. Those suckers get expensive.
A+– Found ‘em!
Be in constant communication with the children about how everything is going. Make sure they know that I’m interested in what they do away from home, and that I care about what they are experiencing each day.
A – My kids are still at that age where they like talking to me. I’m hoping we can keep that going for a long time, although I’ve heard the teen years can get rocky. I really enjoyed hearing about their days, and it’s always fun to hear the bus stop gossip. I hear the kid down the street is going to Disney World this summer.
Sandra Samoska is a writer with a love for Jesus and a love for family. When she's not chasing around her four kids and doing all the things, you can find her writing about the ways God shows up in our every day lives.