Wow! The New School Year Routine Kicked My Butt. You Too? 5 Tips Guiding You Back To Sanity After A Cringe September

The Mint Chip Mama - New School Year Routine Mom With Backpacks And Sports Equipment

The new school year routine and how to come out the other side!

The new school year has totally kicked my butt. While I am not usually the person to admit this, in this case it is very true. The only thing that makes it better is it seems it is kicking everyone else’s butt too! 

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Back in August – I said how excited I was for September to come and for a new school year to begin. I craved the schedule. Foolishly thinking the new school year routine would make it all better. Yes, in truth it has. 

But my goodness. 

It’s a lot. 

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We have three kids in multiple activities. This year – my youngest – is a full-throttle-ahead kid. He’s six. He’s now officially into stuff and on the activity roster. Whereas before he was a handbag, now he too has a new school year routine added into the mix.

But there are only two of us. 

We’re one driver short. 

We’re outnumbered. 

It’s a lot. 

The Mint Chip Mama - New School Year Routine

We Are Constantly Moving

It seems every day we are just running and running. Or better yet I should say driving and driving (although one activity we drive to IS track). But I digress. Thus, we are always on the move, on the go, in the car, and it’s exhausting. 

Ok, so it’s been a month. The new school year routine is now firmly in place. All the fall sports are chugging along. It’s time to get organized.

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That means we have the running around down pat, now we need to have the downtime – well… down. We need to respect our mental health, physical exhaustion, and well-being in addition to schoolwork and activities. 

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I Enjoy A Good Schedule and Routine

As a rule, we schedule everything, so why not schedule downtime too? It sounds funny but for us, if it’s not on the calendar it won’t happen. Well maybe that’s just me, and I’m ok with that… Hi, I’m Stacey and I am addicted to my calendar.

The Mint Chip Mama - New School Year Routine Fire Pit

By the same token, this means using our time “off” efficiently to repair, restore, and regenerate ourselves. Furthermore, it means spending some quality time together in one place at one time. 

With everyone going in different directions all week we can’t lose sight of the importance of being together. Here are five tips to keep a little sanity in your week of mayhem.

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1. Incorporate Nature Into Your New School Year Routine

Spending time outside has always been a bonding activity for us. We enjoy taking nightly walks and going on hikes. However, with the sun setting early and homework looming, a daily walk is now challenging. Because of this, I try to schedule a hike or walk on the weekend. This is a priority for us because there are so many benefits to being outside and in the fresh air. 

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2. Each Weekend Make One Night A Family Night

It is important to us that we eat dinner together as a family. Nevertheless, with five different schedules, this is often challenging. We try to spend Friday nights together and watch a movie as a family. We couple this with taking turns picking the movie so there’s no fighting. Moreover, we love showing our kids the movies we watched growing up in the 80s and 90s

The Mint Chip Mama - New School Year Routine Video Games Nintendo

3. Your New School Year Routine Needs Time For Bodies To Recharge

We are constantly on the go. We put so much emphasis on activities that it’s important to put equal emphasis on downtime. Like all other kids, our kids like playing video games. The rule is they can play in the morning before getting ready for school until we wake up. In effect, this gives them some quality Mario time and gives us some extra sleep. Without doubt too much zoning out time is negative, but we believe video games in moderation are great. In fact, with all the commotion of our week, we’ve learned making video games a family activity is a fun way to veg out together. Hence, on Saturday mornings you can find us resting and relaxing on the couch. Plus, kicking your kid’s butt in a video game gives you lots of credit in the “cool parent” department. 

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4. Make Time For Family Game Nights

We love playing games as a family. As our kids age their ability to play games we like increases. Some of our favorites are Cobra Paw, Ticket to Ride, Uno, Mancala, Harry Potter Wizard Chess, Sequence, Rubik’s Race Game, and Rummikub. We are always on the hunt for new games that are easy to play and have great strategies involved. We also love playing simple card games like Spit. In truth, sometimes I grunt and groan when the kids suggest playing a game – I am burnt out and exhausted. However, once I get over that hump it’s always a good time. I think the key is finding games you like playing and getting your kids into them – not the other way around. 

The Mint Chip Mama - New School Year Routine Popular Books USA

5. Of Course Studying and School Work Comes First

Of course, no new school year routine would be complete without emphasis on schoolwork. With constant school testing these days, there are two ways to look at it. We can either complain or focus on how it highlights our kid’s areas needing improvement. Furthermore, there are so many great resources available that it’s easy to help our kids strengthen one specific subject muscle. So why complain? The key here is finding a workbook your kids like so it doesn’t feel like a chore. We’ve had great luck with Popular Books Complete Math Success workbooks for both boys – so it’s never a fight. We don’t push, we just tell him to do one page a day. Just a little bit for five minutes. We also love their perk-filled Parent Club Rewards Program packed with supplemental material.

The Mint Chip Mama - New School Year Routine

Be Patient, It Takes Time To Adjust To The New School Year Routine

With all of the above said, all families look different and come with different schedules and agendas. But with that said, it’s easy to agree on the importance of a new school year routine, the happiness of seeing one’s children excel in their activities, and the desire to create a warm home. 

It takes time to adjust to the new school year. Seemingly said, we have to remember that like everything else we do as parents, we owe ourselves some patience and grace to get there. 

How is your school year routine going?

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Published by Stacey Wallenstein

Stacey Gish Wallenstein created The Mint Chip Mama blog in 2013 to share her love and passion for giving children meaningful life experiences and helping moms like her navigate the challenges and benefits of raising children in the New York metropolitan area. Before becoming a full-time mom in 2010, Stacey spent the better part of the preceding decade as a high-end customer relationship management (CRM) professional for some of the most well-known brands in the hotel, luxury, fashion, and beauty industries, such as Harrah’s Entertainment, Chanel and Christian Dior, Inc. She managed customer loyalty programs for thousands of clients around the country and created social media strategies for a span of industries including healthcare services, restaurants, consumer packaged goods, specialty foods, local attractions and retail locations. After 13 wonderful years in Manhattan (the last three of which spent as a city mom), Stacey and her husband moved to Long Island in 2014, where they now reside with their three children (13, 9, and 7). There, she is a founding member of her local Parenting Center, which provides classes and coordinates events designed to educate and inform parents while fostering an environment of support and friendship within the community. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Stacey has been active in the New York area alumni organization for nearly twenty years, serving as a board member on the school’s University of Michigan Alumni Club of New York City. She also holds a Masters in Psychology from The New School in New York City. Please check out The Mint Chip Mama in the Press: The New York Post, Psychology Today, NY Metro Parents, New York Family, Parents Magazine, Newsday, News 12, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt: Kids, NerdWallet, Big Apple Kids Guide, and more! The Mint Chip Mama was also nominated as "The Best Blog On Long Island" for 2022 & 2023, one of the Top 20 New York Mom Blogs & Websites, and one of the Top 100 Mom Lifestyle Blogs on the web! For more updates, follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and Pinterest.

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