The end of summer days is approaching us quickly in Ohio. It seems summer is the one that comes and goes the quickest. Perhaps it is because I live for spring and summer.
As I say goodbye to summer, I begin to prepare myself for the days ahead: cool weather, new smells, new things to do, and days inside.
The best part of Ohio is the four seasons. I would not appreciate spring and summer as much as I do if it was year round. I would not enjoy the pools as much if I had them at my fingertips everyday. In Ohio, you get a bit of it all and that is one thing that makes it nice. No season is too long and there is always something to switch up and look forward to.
Fall is approaching us in just a few weeks. So, enjoy the pools until labor day and say goodbye to the warmer weather.
This year, we had a end of summer vacation. My husband took a week off work and we took some time together as family. It was a “staycation” here in Ohio. We went swimming, rode rides, and visited the zoo. It was a good time. I hate that it is coming to a close.
Now, it is time to prepare for fall. Here are some of the things we do. It is good to be prepared and ready for the season’s change. What do you do to prepare at the end of the season? Leave us a comment and let us know!
I keep a planner that has each hour of the day listed on it. This is beneficial for both home school and the setting of my schedule each week. I make sure we are focusing on each subject and adding the time in we are going to use for those subjects. For instance, math and reading are most important. We add two hours a day on both of those. Art is once a week and is an hour. After the time set aside is up, we stop that subject and move to the next. Any work that needs to be completed is set aside for the end of the day or the next day’s school work.
Instead of trying to do my home school months in advance, I do a schedule each week. I prepare the work each morning before the kids wake up. After doing this for so many years, I realize you waste a lot of time trying to prepare for an entire year. It is fine to overview the year, but to plan it always ends in disaster (at least for me). We always have a hiccup that stalls us or one child that needs added help. When this happens, we have to find material in order to get them to understand what is in front of them. This is why a yearly plan never works for us. I want my kids to know what they are doing before we move to the next thing.
We always strive to get all of our work completed Monday thru Thursday. We add an extra hour and thirty minutes to our schedule than is required. Our goal is to have Fridays off. We use Friday as a make up day, catch up day, or extra help day if needed. This keeps my kids very motivated. They know that they may get a Friday off if they work hard and get things done.
I always make sure my kids end at a certain time. It is good for them and it is good for me. You do not want to overwork them. This is another reason why having a Friday off is good. We always have the option to use that day to catch up. Our day begins a 8:30 and ends no later than 4. You do not want to add to much into your schedule or theirs. Burn out is not an option.
Creating a fall schedule
Creating a fall schedule is a must for my home. I am going from no schooling and solely working to now home schooling and juggling my job at the same time. It is a big adjustment to make, but it can be done. We can do anything we want if we put our minds to it and stick to a schedule.
Again, I use an hourly planner for my daily events. Each Sunday, I make out my schedule that includes our home schooling, my work day, and what I need to do around the house.
In the fall, I change my work schedule around. I do most of my blogging on the weekends and in the evenings. I make a list of what I would like to have accomplished by the end of the week. I set aside a few hours each night during the week for blogging. I also work as the kids are doing projects on their own. On the weekends, I try to set aside at least six to eight hours per day to work.
My household chores are reduced during the week. I do a couple loads of laundry a day and surface clean. I pick up the house, vacuum and sweep floors. I also take a spray bottle and wipe dirty surfaces, my counter tops, and my sinks. Everyone picks up their bedroom and makes their bed. The animals get fed and that is the extent of it. The rest is set aside for the weekend.
The last thing you want to do is set too much into your schedule. It is okay to tell people no sometimes. Do not try to jam too much into your day or you will become defeated. The goal is to get what needs to be done completed. Whatever time you have left, can be set aside for helping others or doing the extra things you want to do. Set your priorities in place first.
Take time for yourself
Just like my kids, I put a cap on my day too. I end all I am doing at a 11:30 during the week. Around 11 each night, I start wrapping things up. I make sure my dishes are done, things are picked up, and then I stop. I do not care if there is still more on the list or not. At some point, you have to call it a day.
My kids have to be in their rooms at a certain hour. They can do something quietly, but they must give me some time to wrap up my day. There is nothing wrong with forcing your children to spend some alone time too. It is just as good for them as it is for you.
It is so very important you take some time for yourself. I at least take one hour and if I want to stay up later, I do. I read, play a game, take a hot shower…whatever I want. My husband and children do the same thing. It is important each member of the family has some time that is separate from each other. This way, you do not become aggravated or frustrated as easy. It is refreshing and good for everyone.
When you can not seem to find "alone time"
One thing I hated about having infants and toddlers was the lack of alone time you get. You really do not have a choice when they are demanding and they need you. I remember reading parenting magazines that had all these brilliant ideas that were impossible. Thankfully, that phase of my life is over. For some of you, it is not. Here are a few suggestions:
Switch time with your spouse. This worked well for my husband and I. He would give me an hour of uninterrupted time to do what I wanted and I did the same for him. Most of the time, I would take a nap. However, this was great and I felt refreshed after doing it. We also did this on the weekends, but added more time in. He would get a few hours and so would I. I could get the house cleaned, take a nap, and catch up on what I missed. He would get his time to do as he wished.
Find a buddy who has young kids and switch time with them. My best friend and I did this often. We would meet up at one house and clean and watch the kids together and then go to the other house. We both got things done we needed to do, the kids played together, and we took turns with the younger ones. We were able to knock out quite a bit working together. We also would flip nights out. She would take mine for a few hours one night and I would take hers. This gave us time to go out with our spouses or friends and get a breather.
Find a family member or babysitter if possible. Pay someone to watch your kids so you can rest or get things done. There are lots of teenagers out there looking for a few extra bucks. I am sure a friend or family member knows of someone you could trust to do this. This is actually how I made money as a teen. Teenagers can be a huge help in situations like these. You are still at home, but they are doing the watching of the kids while you get things done or rest.
Family members can be a lifesaver as well. If you have family who is willing, ask them for help from time to time. I never liked putting my family out and found that working with my friend was much better. I did not feel as guilty because we were sharing the time to get things done.
Making fall preparations
In the spring and fall, I do a deep clean of my house. I make a list and go through each room. I clean out drawers, wipe down cabinets, clean behind furniture, and so on. I wipe out the windows, clean ceiling fans, and prepare my outdoors for fall. I also get the garage organized and cleaned. I pull forward all my fall and winter decor etc. so that it is easy to reach. I put my summer things toward the back. I take this step by step throughout the month of September. My goal is to have it done by October 1st.
I also take this time to go through the kids clothing and make a list for what they will need for the colder days ahead. Do they need hats and gloves, coats, or boots? I write it down and keep it in my purse. When I have extra cash or find a sale, I start marking things off on my list.
My kids are too hard to clearance shop because they grow so quickly. My husband and I are easier to shop for. I check out the clearance racks this time of year if I have the extra cash. I grab clothing I may be in need of for summer time next year. This can really save you a ton of money if you have the extra to spend.
To treat myself, I start adding in fall scents. My cleaners, my lotions, all of that fun stuff. I look into fall colors for make up as well. This sort of helps me get over the summertime blues.
One of the things I learned when getting a certification in family studies is this: one stressed person in the family can ruin the whole group. Most of the time, that would be the parent especially if you have younger ones. A key way to keep the family functioning is to ensure you are getting some time to do some things you want and need to do.
It is equally important to have a schedule for the family. Kids may complain about it but, they truly like structure. It is never to early to work on getting your children on a schedule. For infants, begin turning out the lights and quieting things down at a certain hour. Let them be accustomed to the change of pace at an early age. Toddlers can be taught to lay down at a certain time as well. This takes more work for some of them than others. Be persistent and make sure they are following your lead. After a certain period of time, children should be made to go to their rooms and relax. You need it, and they do too.
Lastly, having two parents who both work away from home can add more difficulty into the mix. However, you can still make schedules and still share in the child rearing duties. If you are raising kids single, find a buddy to switch off with. You must do all you can to ensure you are as functional and stress free as possible.
Taking the time at the end of each season to prepare, revamp, and get ready is always useful. We all need to wire it up from time to time. This is a good way to do it.
Have any ideas? Share you thoughts in the comments below.
My encouragement and my sanity comes from God. He the best therapist. I can never write a post without letting you know the gifts God has to offer you today, as you are. Get to know God and grow with Him. He truly is the best thing that has ever happened to me.