I know young children (and most of the rest of us) thrive on routine. I do know this. Yet in summer, with a high schooler taking driver’s ed and college classes, another playing all-stars softball, the 5-year-old in 3 hours of therapy a week, and me trying to burn 600 calories a day, I have just been trying to keep my head above water! And yet I know, I know, I know the disintegration of behavior is due in part to the lack of predictability in their days.

I’ve realized we’d better get things back in shape around here. Former foster kids, even more than others, need that steady rhythm of life. Having a schedule and a routine ensures that all the things that really matter– bedtime stories, healthy meals, fun together– actually happen. Because we are headed out of town to our final (yay) tournament of the summer, I want to be prepared to start right off in our routine when we return.

Here is my basic plan for weekdays:

5:30 – Rise and fix lunches
6:45 – Wake children
7:25 – Practice walking to school with mom (and home, of course)
Stop at home or school playground on the way home.
Library time or errands or appointments.
10:35 – Lunch (I know, disgusting!) for the Littles
“School time” (stories, coloring, songs – sensory activities)
Outside free play
Game play with mom – imagination time
1:30 – Snack for Littles, lunch for Bigs
2:00 – Rest time (Mom exercises)
3:30 – Rise
Puzzles, chores, indoor play (it’s HOT here in August) or Swimming (at least 3x/week)
5:00 Dinner prep and tidy toys
6:00 Dinner
7:00 – Jammies, stories songs
7:30 Bedtime
Pre-prep for breakfast, lunches

The idea is that we have a chance to adjust to the school year schedule.  Some days will look a lot different, of course.  However, if we can manage to keep our routine even three days a week, it will make the big adjustment to school for all of us a lot easier.

How do you prepare your family for the return to school?