Summer holidays are awesome! You get to spend loads of time together with the family creating memories. For the parentpreneur, it can mean you have had to juggle work and spend time with the kids. Back to school can come as quite a shock as you have had no fraught mornings trying to get everyone ready, meals times become fluid, and there is no homework to supervise. So when September comes, just how do you prepare your family for back to school and business?
Start the Groundwork Early
Make sure that everyone knows the routine is about to change again. You will probably have gone shopping for new school stuff, so this is an excellent time to talk about things. If bedtimes have been less rigid then about a week before term starts it is good to put the routines back into place. A calendar is an excellent visual aid that the children can be involved in while you are juggling getting things ready for work and school. Picture cues can be great for younger kids, so it helps them understand that they are off to school again. Get older children to take responsibility for specific tasks and help the younger ones get ready. Have a school collection point in each bedroom so you can easily see if everything is accounted for in terms of clothing, shoes, PE kit, lunch boxes, and water bottles, etc.
Make a List for School
In order to remember everything that needs to happen, or that needs to be purchased, make a list. A large sheet of paper or a whiteboard in the kitchen means that kids play their part. They can add things that they think need to happen and if you agree you can add them to the master list. Prioritise them as you add them into date order. Leaving school shopping right to the end can mean things are sold out, it also gives you less time to sort any problems like new shoes not fitting as well as hoped. If someone has a new pick up point or will be walking a new route add this as a practice item. It can be an activity that everyone helps with; perhaps a good dog walk with the family.
The Business Side
Here is another excellent place to start a list. If you have been on reduced hours in order to spend time with the family, this is a great time to start another list of things you have to do once everyone is safely back in school on the first day. Don’t expect miracles in the first couple days; it is almost inevitable that problems will occur. Lunches left at home to first day nerves, many things will crop up that need your attention. Be realistic with your time planning and leave anything not urgent until the second half of the week, or even until week two of school. Most parentpreneurs will tell you that work, school, and home are the biggest juggling act ever but when you love what you do, so worth it.