Third grade. This is the year that everything is going to change for Ayva. Up until this point, she’s been coddled a bit. Her school experience has been centered around just getting her comfortable being in school. She’s gotten used to getting up early, her social skills have matured, so now it’s time to kick things up a notch.
There’s going to be more homework this year. Third graders are eligible to play sports at her school, so there’s that. She’s going to master cursive writing, and I signed her up for two hours of choir and four hours of musical theater each week. Busy, busy, busy! Ayva and I have already had a talk about how important it is for her to stay focused if she gets to participate in all of these things. She’s committed to doing her part to be responsible to her commitments.
She’s not the only one who has to be committed. We both have work to do! As her mama, it’s my job to make sure she gets to where she needs to go, eats good food, and is emotionally supported. I have to admit that I’m not used to being this busy. It’s going to take some work, but I’m up for the challenge. The most important part is to plan ahead of time, and that’s exactly what I’m doing.
Create a strict skeleton schedule.
The first thing I’ve done is to create a skeleton schedule. I entered every activity that Ayva has and added them to my electronic calendar. Now, before I add anything else to our itinerary, I’ll check the activities calendar first. I also have things like bedtime and even family game night plugged in.
Keep a day free.
Ayva has two days each week where she doesn’t have any activities. Once a month she’ll have Girl Scouts on one of those days, but the other day will always be free. This will be her catch-a-breath day. If there’s anything she needs to take care of like homework, cleaning her room, or extra sleep, we have the time already allotted.
Make meals easier.
Whenever I don’t plan meals, they become a huge hassle. I learned to keep easy to make options in the house. When we have late nights, or I just don’t feel like cooking, I can make sure Ayva gets enough to eat. Dino Buddies are fully cooked chicken nuggets made entirely of white meat. Just a few minutes in the oven and a side dish of veggies, and my busy girl has a snack or meal that fills her up and is a good source of iron, calcium, and Omega 3—all things she needs to be able to have the energy to get through her busy days. Heck, if push comes to shove, she can pop them in the microwave herself while I’m checking over her homework!
Adjust as needed.
Even as we’re planning for a packed school year, I’m still open to making adjustments as needed. If Ayva seems to be very overwhelmed, we’ll move, or even eliminate, some of the things we have on her schedule. The goal is to be happy and engaged, not just busy.
We’re planning to rock this school year! We have a lot to do, but Ayva and I are both super excited. Every morning, we’re going to wake up and seize the (school) day. Here’s to third grade!