Scheduling a Busy Fall

With school starting in two weeks, I am already starting to fill up my calendar.  We just registered for the school year and received a nice list of all the Back-to-School events, activity opportunities and after-school programs.  busy scheduleThe soccer schedule just came in I just finished logging the games and practices in the the family calendar.  Scout activities, too, are starting to come in.  My teaching schedule is all set in place, but I am waiting on our religious education class dates and brownie dates.  Overall, my calendar for the fall doesn’t look nearly as bare as it did just a couple of weeks ago.

Whether you log your family’s activities on your smartphone or your paper flip calendar (like I do!), it is a challenge to coordinate everyone’s schedules.  Sometimes, activities overlap and our normally cohesive family unit is split and running in different directions.  Inevitably, we fall into bed exhausted at the end of extremely busy weeks.

But there are a few priorities that I refuse to compromise on.  Here is how I am going to work my family’s schedule this fall:

  1.  Eat as many meals as possible together.  We usually have only one night a week where I throw leftovers at the kids and my husband and I eat bowls of popcorn at 9:00 after the kids are asleep.  But most of the other nights, we all sit down at the dinner table for supper.  Now, sometimes we may be rushed or at least the timing is down to the second, but these are important for us to feel connected.
  2. Always eat Sunday dinner together.  For me, Sunday dinner is like a mini-holiday each week.  I grew up in a family that had a nice bigger Sunday dinner – roasts, lasagnas, longer cooking items.  I loved the aroma that filled the house on Sunday afternoon.  While weekday meals may be simple, this meal is an opportunity for me to show my family how I love them through the food that I cook for them.
  3. Try to have at least one night a week together at home.  Whether this is the same night every week or a different one depending on sporting events, that one night of downtime recharges us.  We read books, play a game, watch a family show or just relax and have a free playtime.  I know that this will become even more important as the children grow older and focus their attention more on friends than family.
  4. Unplug!  My poor children are technologically deprived.  They don’t have a gaming system , ipad or phones, but they still survive!  They have to read paper books and listen to CD players, but it gives our downtime more quality when we aren’t concentrating our attentions on a screen.
  5. Give homework its due time.  With all of the worthy and fun extracurricular activities, it would be easy to push that spelling studying off another day or skip the reading minutes.  But I know that my kids aren’t going to college on a soccer scholarship or going to be drafted by the NBA out of high school.  This means they are going to have to work hard for every test score they have.  Working with them – quizzing them on spelling words or states/capitals, reading with them, checking their math homework  – lets them know how you value their education and their hard work.
  6. Don’t forget God!  It would be easy on Sunday morning to declare that we are too tired to go to mass and that our long, busy week of activities has earned us a morning in bed, but we need mass.  We need our Lord!  We need our strength to be recharged.  We need to be fed by the Body of Christ.  We need his Holy Body to nourish us so that we may have the spiritual strength to survive another busy week.  If activities prevent you from going to Sunday morning mass, check your bulletin – we have six masses at our church each weekend and the next Catholic church down the street isn’t far away offering other possible times.  Catholics are nothing if not convenient!

 

I hope that your fall is starting to look busy but fulfilling.

 

And check out next week’s article on Saying No!

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