Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Life Just Got a Lot Busier!

This is sponsored content by BlogHer and Kelloggs.



I love having my kids home during the summer. I enjoy the laziness of summer - no schedules to speak of, no homework, no extracuricular activities. I love being able to roll out of bed when I'm ready to wake up instead of when my alarm clock goes off. I love being able to make impromptu plans with my kids. But summer vacation lasts about three weeks too long, in my opinion. Out of immeasureable boredom, my kids start inventing games like Beat my brother over the head with a drum stick and Throw toys all over the family room until someone trips and sprains an ankle and Let's scream and fight until the little vein in mom's neck sticks out and she disappears in her room with a bottle of wine.

It's a Catch 22 though. The kids are out of your hair and in school, but now you're back to the crazy busy school year schedule. How on earth do you transition between the lazy days of summer to the go-go-go schedule of the school year?

A couple weeks before school started, I adjusted my kids' bedtime, gradually making them go to bed earlier so it would be easier getting up on time for school.

I established a routine and made a chart listing everyone's chores and when they needed to be done. No longer do my kids have all day to take out the garbage or make their beds. With school and homework and sports now, we all needed to get more organized to make sure we had time to accomplish everything.



We no longer have all morning to lie around in our pajamas, eating breakfast whenever we feel like it. Our mornings are pretty rushed, so I always have several boxes of cereal on hand. My kids can get their own breakfasts and I know they're eating something healthy that will fill their tummys and tide them over until lunch. I always buy several boxes when it's on sale or when I have a coupon so it makes for a very inexpensive breakfast at that.

I've started planning out my dinners ahead of time. In the summer, I can just wing it and throw something together when we get hungry, but during the school year, between helping the kids with homework, and taking them to football practice and cheer, etc., I need meals planned and prepped ahead of time.

I have a hard time sticking to a schedule. I don't like my life so planned and regimented. I'm really more of a "fly by the seat of my pants" kinda gal. But, I have to admit that during the school year, a schedule of sorts makes things flow a lot more smoothly.

What do you do to transition between lazy summer days and school days? For a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card, leave me a comment here and give me your best tip for transitioning to the busy school year.

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Mom’s Breakfast Club was started to help educate moms and families about kids’ cereal and share the scoop on their nutritional benefits and ingredients. To learn more about the program, visit http://www.loveyourcereal.com/.

121 comments:

Colleen said...

The crock-pot is my friend. I also limit my children to one after school activity a piece. Otherwise, we never stop running.

kellyH said...

I think the smoothest way to transition is, like you did, start making some new patterns before the first day of school! Whether it's adjusting bedtimes or getting everyone used to more of a routine. every little bit helps!

Stormimay said...

Transition? Does warning your kids that "IT'S COMING!!!!!" count?

graceunderautism said...

about a week before we start our new routine. Earlier bedtimes, simplified evenings, etc.

Wander said...

Try to get used to early bed and early rise!
Boo!

Brooke said...

Wake up earlier. If ya can't get the lead out, at least you got a few minutes to make up the time.
shutterboo at gmail dot com

Kelly Massman said...

We eat something quick for breakfast-like cereal!
kmassman gmail

Kerry said...

We try to get to sleep a little earlier each night the week before school. It helps to get used to waking up on time once school starts.
nuthouse(at)centurytel(dot)net

Kerry said...

tweeted: http://twitter.com/KerryBishop/status/24627036085
nuthouse(at)centurytel(dot)net

Just call me b said...

This year's transition went really well. Why? I am not sure, but I am glad it did. And, our usual breakfast table....Pop Tarts, cereal, and blueberry muffins!
scottorbsmith @ gmail dot com

JerryGilreath said...

coffee.. lots and lots of coffee.

JerryGilreath said...

tweeted: http://twitter.com/jerry_gilreath/status/24628200562

Have a great week! :-)

Natalia D said...

I start to send kids to bed earlier appr. couple of weeks before school.
natatheangel AT yahoo DOT com

John said...

Really nothing very special... My daughter loves school and there is no problem with transition.
jdrombo at yahoo dot com

One Stop Giveaway Shop said...

We get our little girl to bed early! She stays up later during the Summer, so this is a bit of a transition for her.

Tara
giveawayblogs at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

plan, plan, plan!!! Each of my children is responsible for their lunches, I place out the items and they make them. For dinner I try to plan at least a week out, and to cut down on the whining from the girls I let them each pick 2 dinners each week and they get to help make them as long as their homework is done and ready to go for the next day.

Linda - Wilsonville

Pam said...

We do a slow transition, like you do. It helps us all to get back on a school schedule.

Carrie M. said...

I do the same thing...I start transition the bedtime schedule two weeks before school starts. Of course my oldest started high school this year so she informed me she no longer has a bed time. We compromised that she at least has to stay in her room and can't be wandering the house all hours of the night. So far so good

Gwyneth said...

alarms, lots and lots of alarms. My cell phone lets me set as many as I want... voila, reminder to wake up, reminder to eat breakfast, reminder to medicate, reminder to take him to school...

Juneau Poole Party said...

My 8-year-old still requires 11 hours of sleep, so early bedtimes are a must year round! We are still trying to find a morning routin that works for everyone Ü

Stacie said...

Fast Family Meals! We brainstormed together on our favorite fast meals to eat. I type them up in list form and hang it on the fridge. Now when I know it's a crazy day I can look at the "Family Fast" meals and pick one quickly. It keeps the meals different when we are in a rush. Weekends are for the more time consuming meals around here.

Anonymous said...

plan plan plan! plan everything out, including meals. scg00387 at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

http://twitter.com/DesMoinesDealin/status/24715589969 scg00387 at yahoo dot com

Kathryn said...

We get started with an early bedtime as soon as possible! Also we stock up the week before on groceries so no last minute store runs that first week!

Anne J said...

We homeschool, so we start out the school year with a fun party. Then we add subjects gradually, so it takes 2 weeks to get up to full speed.

ajolly1456 at gmail dot com

Anne J said...

I tweeted
http://twitter.com/lunaj1456/status/24718456322

ajolly1456 at gmail dot com

Cyndy said...

I love and miss summer as soon as it is gone, but there are a few things that I try and keep as consistent as I can...like bedtimes and bedtime routines...even if the time is off the routine is the same and helps keep us on track.

allysmama said...

About a week before school starts, we go back to our old routine with bedtimes and we start getting up earlier too! That is how we make the transition a bit smooother!
bleatham*at*gmail.com

allysmama said...

tweet
http://twitter.com/sleatham1/status/24738859749
bleatham(at)gmail.com

Susan C. said...

We try to get plenty of sleep - it's hard, but with the sun going down earlier, it gets easier.

Bug said...

Planning like crazy. I plan my entire month's menu so there's no last minute grocery store errands and so I always know what I'm making for dinner. Plus, I purposely schedule throw together meals on our craziest days. And I plan out all the errands I have to do that week so I only need to do 1 or 2 stops every day and I try to give us 1 day where we do nothing after school.

Amber said...

We start with earlier bedtimes, and earlier morning wake up times. We also keep quick breakfasts like cereal fruit yogurt and milk on hand. Thanks!

shevilkenevil1 at aol dot com

Amber said...

Tweet:
http://twitter.com/lipstickncandy/status/24769535123

shevilkenevil1 at aol dot com

sodahoney said...

Not a big transition. Key with a family of 9 is organization and planning. Menus planned ahead. Everyone has their responsibilities.

sodahoney said...

tweet http://twitter.com/sodahoney/status/24775152539

sodahoney said...

Blogged http://sodahoney.blogspot.com/2010/09/giveaways-ending-sept-20-to-sept-27.html

KathyGTwins said...

I try not to over schedule the first couple of weeks and leave weekends open. I also buy some premade dinners. After the school year starts it's like a snowball rolling downhill!

Anonymous said...

For myself, since I, too, am going to school, about a week before school starts, I start going to bed earlier, and waking up earlier. I go out and buy boxes and boxes of cereal, or even poptarts to Nutrigrain bars. Something quick and healthy!
Amanda Ro.

Katie said...

I too plan out my meals for the week so I don't have to shop more than once a week. I also try to adjust my daughter's bedtime and getting up time for a bit before school starts so that first alarm going off at 6:30 isn't a complete shock!

kt1969 at comcast dot net

Katie said...

Tweeted:

http://twitter.com/Skaketgirl/status/24794965683

kt1969 at comcast dot net

JC said...

We started the routine and schedule at least a week before school started.

JC said...

blogged.http://tcarolinep.blogspot.com/2010/09/giveaway-because-i-said-so_17.html

JC said...

http://twitter.com/tcarolinep/status/24796748792

Eva said...

try to sleep earlier at night so it's not so hard to wake up at 7am in the morning!

evil_eva12 at hotmail dot com

Deb said...

I’m a teacher and I love going back to school every September, but things definitely become a lot more hectic. We all have extra curricular activites, and we have to keep a dry erase calendar in the kitchen to make sure we keep track of everything and that we don’t double book our days!

Yvette said...

We are still trying to transition! This year has been hard cause now all the kids are in school.

Dolphin Girl said...

I try to make sure we are going to be on time, but otherwise, I try to squeeze the most fun as possible out of those last summer days.

Dolphin Girl said...

http://twitter.com/kdolphins7/status/24824218335

jakiesmom said...

i talk to my little guy every night before school so that he is aware that the next day is a school day..so it's not such a struggle
in the morning
nannypanpan at sbcglobal.net

Anonymous said...

Packing lunches the night before and keeping breakfast simple is our strategy!

~eunice b
tigergal01 @gmail .com

Anonymous said...

http://twitter.com/tigergal01/status/24859930846

tweet!

~eunice b
tigergal01 @gmail .com

floating said...

I try to get my daughter back to thinking and writing by having her write letter to family the week before school. We also start waking up at 8
floatingonabiscuit@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Just go to bed earlier.
MCantu1019@aol.com

gmissycat said...

Start bedtime earlier, like 2 weeks before, always fill their bellies with warm cereal before bedtime and a good story helps too.
gmissycat@yahoo.com

gmissycat said...

Tweeted your giveaway!
http://twitter.com/gmissycat/status/24899141907
gmissycat@yahoo.com

susan1215 said...

A couple of week before school starts we go to bed early and get ups early so they start adjusting to that time schedule

s2s2 at comcast dot net

susan1215 said...

http://twitter.com/susan1215/status/24900892399

Chick Hatchers said...

We homeschool, so our transition is just to start out slowly. Bed times don't change much between the school year and summer for us. But we start out with 1 or 2 subjects and gradually, over the course of a week, add in 1 or 2 more until it's a full day. We also keep the tv turned off during the day until all school work and chores are completed. I have to be a bit more organized with dinners, so I just have to remember to get something started before it's too late.

Nicole said...

We have a written schedule, similar to your chore chart. I also like to get things prepared the night before- clothes laid out, bowls, spoons, cereal boxes ready on the table, and lunches packed and waiting in the fridge.
nbalogh522 at gmail dot com

Nicole said...

tweet
http://twitter.com/maybaby522/status/24904849823
nbalogh522 at gmail dot com

sy said...

i would sleep early so i can get up early.
songyueyu at gmail

sy said...

i tweeted http://twitter.com/syytta/status/24911944302

Hera said...

I try to transition my son by talking about school every day. I also moved bedtime up about 15 every night starting a few weeks before. We also "practiced" getting up on time & getting dressed, etc the day before.

jillyrh said...

Go to bed earlier and get up earlier at least a week before school starts.

jillyrh said...

Tweeted

http://twitter.com/jillyrh/status/24916330442

Terri said...

Have everything prepared the night before: clothes out and backpacks ransacked.
whitbrit AT gmail DOT com

Bri said...

We make school / work days easier by getting up 30 - 45 minutes earlier than we need to, giving us plenty of time to get ready and prepare for the day :)

jeweledfantasy(at)gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I am not usually a morning person, so during the school year, I will make breakfast foods on Sundays that can be reheated each morning. Sometime it is pancakes, waffles, or breakfast burritos. That way the family can have these foods without getting myself frazzled every morning trying to cook a big breakfast.

mmburdette22@yahoo.com

DG said...

My nieces are going back to school and are excited but I know the more strict schedule might get to them after a while lol. Getting a good night's sleep (by 8:30 the latest) and a high fiber cereal breakfast help the mornings go by easily. Also, really sticking to a schedule helps rather than summer vacation attitude :)

dreamzz12{at}aol{dot}com

DG said...

tweeted!

http://twitter.com/DeeGee13/status/24957822053

dreamzz12{at}aol{dot}com

DG said...

http://deegee13.xanga.com/733080904/breakfast-campaign-giveaways/
blogged!

dreamzz12{at}aol{dot}com

Barbarawr said...

That's hard for me to say because my kids have always been in year round or modified calendar school. So they go to school for a while, stay home a few weeks, go back to school, etc. We have a school morning routine that we've kept since they first started, so it's no different from us than it is for the average child to transition from week day to week end day.

Email address is in blogger profile

Barbarawr said...

I tweeted http://twitter.com/bsw529/status/24960954883

Beads By Lori and Sara said...

The transition always starts for me when I start thinking about lesson plans for a new school year! Meaning...oh...3 days after summer break starts!

Deb ~ tnshadylady said...

Being firm about bedtimes makes the kids less cranky and groggy in the mornings and gives me extra time in the evenings to do what I need to do to keep everything running smoothly.

Deb ~ tnshadylady said...

http://twitter.com/tnshadylady/status/24962249893

fostertam said...

I work a 12 month position in the school system (psychologist) but the summer months, when the kids are off are slow and casual--its really nice at first and gives me a chance to catch up but by the time school starts I am ready for everyone to come back but I have to give up my shorts and tshirts!

fostertam said...

http://twitter.com/fostertam/status/24965528017

Shel said...

We start going to bed earlier about 2 weeks before school starts and waking up to the alarm clock in the morning to get us back into the swing of getting up early. It also helps to lay out clothes and find missing shoes the night before so there's no panic search-and-destroy mission in the morning.

shel704 at aol dot com

Shel said...

Tweeted:
http://twitter.com/auntiethesis/status/24966231447

shel704 at aol dot com

Samantha said...

To prepare for the upcoming school year, I started putting thr kibosh on my daughter sleeping until noon, about a week or two before hand. This year it was much easier than usual because she had Color Guard Camp the week before, that had her waking at 7am every day. I get her in bed every night by 9:30pm, which leaves her with a chance of up to 9-10 hours of sleep, depending on how quickly she falls asleep.
Thanks!
Samantha Daleo
jamesmadison1974@gmail.com
or
jamesmadison1974 at gmail dot com

Carol said...

Soccer practice starts before the school year, so that helps ease into a more scheduled time. And, of course, an earlier bedtime always helps.

PauleyD said...

We prepare ahead of time. We set out their uniforms the night before, and have most of their lunch packed ahead of time.

Regular Bedtimes are important. We start this about a week before.



pauleyd68 (at) yahoo (dot) com

PauleyD said...

http://twitter.com/lpauld68/status/24980329527

pauleyd68 (at) yahoo (dot) com

cdabs said...

I just try to be more organized, like picking out the day's clothes the night before.

Kim said...

We start going to bed earlier and waking up earlier.

Annette D said...

We try to start going to bed earlier and getting up earlier before school starts.

Racingjourno said...

Sticking with familiar routines keeps things running smoothly.

scoopster(nospam)at yahoo dot com

Racingjourno said...

Tweet
http://twitter.com/LuigiFranco/status/24997515716

scoopster(nospam)at yahoo dot com

slehan said...

We have a 'pretend tomorrow is school' night & morning. Thanks for the contest.

slehan said...

http://twitter.com/slehan/status/24998474024

slehan said...

blogged: http://slehan.blogspot.com/2010/09/win-100-moms-breakfast-club.html

trishden said...

Hello, a week or two before the first day of school we try to get into a routine. More regular bed times, getting up early in the morning and having a set time for breakfast. The first few days are tough, but by the time the first day of school comes around, it goes pretty smoothly. Thanks for a great giveaway!
trishden948(at)yahoo(dot)com

trishden said...

I tweeted on Twitter here:
http://twitter.com/trishden/status/25017069816

Thanks!
trishden
trishden948(at)yahoo(dot)com

Noelle said...

Oh, I have a very strict four week plan that includes earlier bedtimes, scheduled meal times, and activity and chore charts. After taking a week or more to compile the "plan," and at least that much time holding it over my daughter's head - I promptly chuck it and use the first actual week of school as our transition time!

Jamie said...

The best thing for getting my 15 year old son out of bed at 5:30am for high school is something we have done the last week of summer without fail. He has been woken up at 9:30am, then 9:00am, then the day before school he is up by 7:00am, so 5:30am does not seem so early!! My daughter is in college now, but this worked for her until this school year. Wonder how she is doing with getting up early?

T said...

We bought some more uniforms and school supplies. My kids always wake up early, so we didn't worry about that.

Bianka said...

I start getting the kids ready for school 2 weeks before it starts. I put them to be at school bedtime which is 8pm and wake them up at get ready for school time which is 630am. When they start getting tired in the afternoon we take a nap...LOL But it works and I never hear any complains once school starts.

Lori said...

I make my kids start with their earlier bedtimes a week before school starts so that they wake up at a good time and are well rested and it carries through to school start.
lkziegler[at]gmail[dot]com

Wendy in Idaho said...

The first way we transition the kids into the new school year is getting the kids to bed earlier, waking them up on time and have them practice getting all ready for "school".

The way I transition into the new school year is by decluttering. Organizing the kids' rooms, clothes, activity closet etc... Trying to minimize so I don't feel so overwhelmed.

Karen Fox said...

We jump right in a with a schedule and really try to stick to it. Plan a head for meals, shopping as much as possible so that the unexpected is such a big deal.

Tara M said...

This year I am making the lunches at dinner time and having them pick clothes before bed. This saves a lot of time and franticness in the morning.

Barb said...

Plan for the transition? Heck, I'm lucky if I remember it's time for school to start...

won said...

We make a list and check it off.

Then we double check it ;)

won said...

http://twitter.com/#!/won2x/status/25042782005

Thank you!

Sori said...

I make sure there are healthy snacks for the ravenous after school munchies.

Missi said...

The transitioning this year for me was WAY easy. Dad is taking them. First time ever in 11 years I've not had to get kids out of the house in the morning for school.

The few mornings (like this one) that he has to go in early I'll have them pick clothes out before bed & I stagger wake up times. So the bathroom isn't being faught over. Cereal, pop tarts, microwaved saugage bisquits or cut up fresh peaches are the choices for breakfast & they pick whatever & get it themselves since they are old enough.

Denise said...

I try to do as much as I can the night before so the mornings aren't so hectic

LAMusing said...

An earlier bedtime, and getting into the fun of buying new school supplies and clothes!
adrianecoros(at)gmail(dot)com

Norma said...

My daughter was usually excited about school starting so the transitions were smooth
bingomamanorma(at)gmail(dot)com

LAMusing said...

tweet! http://twitter.com/LAMusing/status/25059565719
adrianecoros(at)gmail(dot)com

Tracy R said...

I don't have kids, so no big transition here, but I still love my Kelloggs.

Tracy R said...

I tweeted
http://twitter.com/tracylr233/status/25063007865

healingtouch said...

My best tip? All of mine are out of school lol. Hey don't hate...I did my time!!!

Julie said...

My daughter started her junior year at high school. One thing that helped her was she started going to bed at an earlier time-about a week before school started.This helped the "transistion" a little easier..she also has her clothes picked out the night before.. she has scrambled eggs or cereal for breakfast.
thanks for the giveaway
aunteegem@yahoo.com

Jennifer Foster said...

Since I'm a teacher, I GET to go back too (hear the sarcasm there?) I make the kids exhausted by forcing them to work in my classroom ALL DAY, which then makes them want to go to bed earlier which then makes them get up earlier. For school.

See?

V1nce said...

Cold turkey. It's the only way to quit those lazy days and get in the swing of school right away. The first few days it's ok to nap on the bus. Then after they're gone, hello Cold Turkey (glug glug glug!) *hic*!

Our Unique Family said...

Getting ready for a new school year here is also intresting as my boys spend most of their summer with their dad. When they are back home here and the school year is about to start we adjusted our bedtimes, plan meals, and made chore charts. Makes life a little simpler! But I still have to remind teenagers "Hey it is your turn to empty the dishwasher!" LOL

Kauseks said...

The kids start going to bed sooner, and set their clothes out at night. I learn to set the timer on the coffee pot!

Julie said...

when school starts it is always a juggling act to get everything done by the end of the day! I work full time, so the kids' evening schedule doesn't change too much when school starts. We have the same bedtime, chore list, etc. all year long. However, I find the biggest challenge when school starts is getting homework done (and done on time!). For us, doing homework immediately following dinner seems to work the best. It helps to do it at the same time everyday; there is less arguing about it that way. For parents like me who have kids that try to get out of homework by saying they don't have any,open communication with their teachers is essential! My kids know they can't get away with it (for long anyway) because they know I will talk to their teacher and find out about it!

gmissycat said...

Tweeted giveaway here.
http://twitter.com/gmissycat/status/25645207546
gmissycat@yahoo.com