Happy new year everybody! I hope you all are getting their new year off to a wonderful start! I know it is customary to start the year with a bunch of resolutions that will be completely forgotten about in a few weeks, but I am going to start my year with goals instead.
A family calendar is the best way to coordinate all the comings and goings of every single member of your family, and to make sure you aren’t, as a whole, spread too thin, and get enough family together time. That’s why this week’s challenge is organizing your family calendar and to keep and actually get in the habit of using it on a daily basis.
This is the perfect time of year to begin this challenge because the New Year is almost upon us, and you may need a new calendaring system for the coming year anyway.
So, while you’re in the store buying a new calendar (or making something you’re personalizing for yourself) keep the following steps in mind to get the most out of this useful tool.
Are you new here? This week’s challenge, all about keeping a family calendar, is one of the challenges in the 52 Week Home Organization Challenge. (Click the link to learn how to join us for free for future and past challenges if you aren’t already a regular reader).
So, working in a school, I get to see all kinds of parents… The parent that walks in every day and has a hard time letting go, the parent that can’t be reached for anything that goes wrong, the parent that thinks their child is ALWAYS in the right, and so many more. It wasn’t until working at the school that I began to really evaluate what kind of parent I am, and how my actions may possibly affect how my kids are treated.
Your challenge this week is organizing toys and games in your childrens’ rooms, and around the house, so your kids can actually find and play with their toys, and you don’t trip over anything anymore.
For the past couple of weeks we’ve been working on all the areas of our kids’ rooms, starting with the closets, and then focusing on their bedrooms.
This week we’re finishing the focus on our children’s stuff, at least for a while, by focusing on the area that generally gives most parents (including me) the most trouble — toys, stuffed animals, games, puzzles, and other stuff we have for our kids to amuse themselves with.
The steps for this week should be done with your children, if they’re old enough to participate. They deserve to have their opinions listened to and considered in the process of decluttering and organizing their toys, although you, as a parent, also have quite a large stake in the process.
Are you new here? This challenge about how to organize toys and games is part of the 52 Week Home Organization Challenge. (Click the link to learn how to join us for free for future and past challenges if you aren’t already a regular reader).
After years of bad experiences with back to school time, we have finally developed a routine that works best for going back to school with a special needs child. Since we finally developed a routine that works, I am hoping that sharing it here will help someone else who struggles like we did in the past.
Back To School For The Special Needs Child
Here’s my plan, as time moves along…
During the summer
During the summer, we do take a break, but we still make it a point to do some reading and writing every day. We make it a point to do one math worksheet, one writing project, and at least 30 minutes of reading every day.
Two weeks prior
We start waking up earlier. We slowly adjust our schedule by 15-30 minutes per day (depending on how late we’ve been sleeping.
We also contact the school to schedule a meeting with our next teacher(s).
One week prior
We meet with the school. We make it a point to meet with literally every person that my son will be working with that school year. We make it a point to meet in their classroom(s) so that he can get used to it, and have a feel for what the year is going to be like.
We also start getting up at the exact time we will have to every morning so that we can get dressed, brush our teeth, eat breakfast, and get to the bus stop on time. We actually walk all the way to the bus stop too, so that we know we won’t be late.
Even though we’ve already met with teachers, I feel like it is VITAL to go to open house, so that my son can get a feel of what the school is going to be like when it is crowded with other students. After all, he has had a 3 month break from the chaos.
The day before
We get up, go through our routine, and answer any questions he may have, to the best of our ability.
The first day of school
No matter how much I want to drive my kids, I put them on the bus so that we can get into routine. And, I take the day off and stay home, so that in case there is an emergency, I can make myself available and be at the school within minutes.
The first two weeks
I stick with the routine. No drop-offs, no pick-ups, no changing the routine unless absolutely necessary.
- Keep paperwork organized
- Keep a calendar for school events, IEP meetings, and teacher conferences, as well as any other meetings or appointments
- Start a communication log
- Keep track of all emails, phone calls, notes home, etc. I suggest keeping all of this in a binder and notating dates and times of each of these.
- Review the current IEP to make sure that it still fits all of your child’s needs
- Establish a before and after school routine
- Try to attend all school events. An involved parent is also an informed parent, and better capable of advocating for their child.