Well, it’s started. The 2018-2019 school year! This year we have a kindergartner and a preschooler. Josiah was not completely thrilled to be going back, and Charlotte was over-the-moon excited. Eli was very disappointed that he didn’t get to ride the bus and kept asking, “Why they leave me?!?,” distraught over his siblings going off for their first day. And this Momma, well, I handled it pretty well until I walked up to daycare. Charlotte started going to our daycare at two weeks old. That place is not a childcare center, it is a home. They are not daycare providers, they are family. And walking up with a child missing felt very weird today. My eyes were pretty misty by the time I walked out, on my way to work. But we all made it through the day!
One excited Kindergartner, One excited Pre-K kid, One grumpy and lonely boy off to day care! Eli was so sad and kept asking, “Why they leave me Momma!?”
Last year, we discovered Josiah had some learning troubles. I personally believe he has some anxiety, at times significant anxiety. As one who has suffered from significant anxiety in my own life, I know what he’s dealing with. Jo’s anxiety comes out when he is overwhelmed with a process, unsure of what to do. He has trouble focusing and narrowing down the task-at-hand, only able to see the big picture. This then leads to trouble following directions and difficulty completing a job. Looking back, he had this before school, however, it wasn’t as noticeable because his life situations were much more relaxed. We are working with his school to provide him the best opportunities, both for learning, and for simple daily function. I very much believe he will learn the coping mechanisms needed to accomplish anything he wants to accomplish.
We have come to realize that Josiah needs help narrowing down the steps he should follow to complete a task. He needs very specific instructions to follow. When the “break down process” is provided for him, he is able to be routinely successful. Now with two in school, we have just added to our need for routine.
I’m going to share with you what we TRY to do daily. I would like to put huge emphasis on the word TRY. I am a flawed mother. My kids get unruly. They don’t always listen. I don’t always have my s*** together. We are trying our best. So please know, this doesn’t happen everyday. But when we do follow our routine, our days go much smoother, my kids are happier and I’m happier.
Some days Josiah is a very early riser. He frequently gets up with Ross, around 4am, sometimes earlier. He rarely goes back to sleep on these days. During the summer and on weekends we let him watch movies. But during the school year, there is no screen time until all the other jobs are done. The reason for this is two part. One, because his brain doesn’t need that, especially in the morning, and two, to deter that temptation and desire to wake up to watch a movie. We use a small creamer dish for milk so that he can prepare his own cereal for breakfast. We also have bins for clothes to be set out in the night before. Preparing the night before helps tremendously. He is able to start his day independently.
After school we have a routine too. Clean out back packs and lunch boxes, give mom notes, put shoes away and help with chores. Similar things happen at bed time. I created these pictures using picmonkey and clip art that I’ve printed out and cut into strips. They look like book marks. I have been just handing them to the kids in the morning, but do plan to put them on rings to have hanging in a designated area.
Giving my kids guided-control of their time helps them to focus and achieve the desired result. It helps us all find a better balance and enjoy each other, eliminating (most) frustration. Feel free to print off if these would help you and your family!