I love buying new markers, crayons, paper, binders, etc. And yes, I’m sure I also love it because it has to do with getting the kids back to school. Not that I don’t enjoy my little darlings, but by summer’s end, they seem far too idle and antsy. I am happy to see them on a regular schedule which consists of more than just sleep, eat, play, and occasionally a few chores. And this is true for both my home schooled children and my children who go to another school, including those going off to college.
But another reason I like back to school time is because it is a chance for new beginnings and starting over. I use this new beginning time to try a new approach to chores, to review rules for phones, video games, etc, and to develop new habits. Just recently, for example, I redid our chore chart. If you have attended my seminar, you may remember that we have a chore chart that states everyone’s daily and weekly chores. For simplicity sake and quality control, we don’t rotate these chores. However, at back to school time, I switch things up a bit. I add or subtract chores where needed. And with another child off to college this year, we had to shuffle things around. For another example concerning habits, we are now trying to insist on only eating in the kitchen and dinning room. Although this is a clearly stated "Kiser" rule, we tend to get lazy about this as time goes on. We use this back to school time as a launching point to get back into good habits, like eating only in the kitchen. "And please put that dish in the dishwasher when you are through." Maybe you can start your own campaign about kids taking shoes off at the door, picking up their clothes, or not leaving their backpacks on the kitchen counter. Now you can see why a Martha such as myself really likes this idea of starting over.
I also notice now that schedules are more regular, (fuller, but regular) I can schedule a dinnertime that will accommodate most of the family. I seem more disciplined to make a menu and to get the shopping done. I guess that’s just my way of "going back to school."
You probably do similar "back to school" activities. But let’s not forget that we also may need to start over or begin again with regard to the "Mary" things. When we are setting new schedules, do we allow time for prayer, study, or service, or is our schedule filled with soccer, football, carpool and piano lessons? Can we find a time that we can pray together as a family, even if it is something as simple as a short prayer as we go out the door for school or ride to there together in the car? I am sure you have many ideas and convictions about this. Let’s just take a little time to figure out what we need do. (Try to listen to the Holy Spirit.) And then let’s have the courage, discipline and energy to carry it out.
Copyright 2010 Tami Kiser
About the Author
Tami Kiser is a wife, mother, teacher, author, and speaker. She runs a video production studio featuring Catholic speakers. These can be purchased or viewed on Formed. She also is the co-owner and host of a new Catholic Retreat and Cultural Center in the Carolina Mountains called Heart Ridge. She has taught everything from NFP, Zumba, cleaning toilets, Catholic crafting, the hula, bullet journaling, tap dancing, and liturgical living to Saxon Math 54 for the 10th time.