We are nearly at the end of the first full week of school, and a pattern has started to emerge again within my family’s weekdays. And I am so relieved!
There are lots of reasons why I like school holidays. They’re fun (mostly) because we make an effort to do a lot more activities together. I love watching my kids slowing down and becoming re-energised after limping with tiredness towards the end of the term. Summer holidays, like the one we have just had, with beautiful weather, is a particularly fun time, as we all love the longer days, the beach, the warm weather – and having time to enjoy it.
I have one problem with school holidays and that is their lack of structure. Which is kind of the point of holidays, so I haven’t quite resolved how to manage it.
My main issue is the lack of regular waking and sleeping times for the kids during weekdays, when my husband and / or I still need to work.
In a small home, it’s tricky not to wake sleeping children when getting ready to go to work. But when I do wake them (I try not to, but inevitably I drop something, or forget to close a door quietly, or something), I find the morning becomes more complicated, slower, I am later at leaving – and I leave behind slightly grumpy kids.
At the other end of the day, my kids are still at an age where they want to be with us in the evenings (or need to be picked up or dropped off) – and we love this. And then there are all the things there isn’t quite time for during term – dinners with friends, or sporting events during the week, or making the most of the daylight savings to do things together.
All good stuff, but I’m finding they’re getting to bed (or sleep) later and later, and as a result, we become more and more tired. They are not really old enough to leave and expect that they will get themselves to bed, either. It’s something we clearly need to sort out before next holidays.
For this reason, I really look forward to school starting. School is good!
Now that we have one child in Grade 5 and one in Grade 3, we are in quite a good pattern in terms of school routines. The school day, and any extra activities at either end, create a rhythm or regularity to our weekdays which I find easier to work within. Between Al and I, our activities seem to slot in quite well around our kids, too.
And there is also limited decision making: we know that Monday means lacrosse training, for instance, Wednesday means swimming lessons and so on. This then dictates packing of bags the night before and when homework is done. It influences timing for clothes washing, so uniforms are ready, and the meal selection for the week (how much time we have to cook, and what can be eaten relatively quickly). Much less time is taken in thinking about when and how and what, on these home management issues, and I find that such a relief*.
It all seems to lead to a smoother week (it might also be because I am fortunate enough not to make lunches – must remember to thank Al again so he keeps going!)
Are you a fan of weekly routines, rhythms, patterns – or do you enjoy making it up on the run (like, for instance, my husband?)
*Of course, it’s still early in the term, so we haven’t had any battles over homework yet. I might be changing my story later – but at the moment, it is all good!