Ladies and gentlemen, we stand here on the brink of a new school year, and what are you going to do to make it the best year ever? You’re going to work hard! You’re going to give 110%. You are going to do everything I ask you to do and more. And, you are going to do it all with a smile on your face.
Wouldn’t it be nice if I could give a speech like that to my children and actually see results?
So far, those motivational moments have been far more effective for clearing my lungs than getting these kids moving. So, this year, I had a different approach.
For a solid week, I prayed. I planned. I prepared.
I reviewed our current disciplinary style and made corrections. I looked over the results of last year’s school routine and pinpointed the problem areas. I considered my filing and planning systems and found a way to simplify so that I would be more likely to stick with my lesson plans.
Week One – Discipline
During the first official week of Mommy’s Back to School Boot Camp, the focus was on discipline.
Bill and I sat down with the children and our new chart set from Doorposts. First, we reviewed the Blessing Chart and allowed the children to determine (with parental direction) what rewards they would receive for good behavior. Then, we showed them the If-Then Chart and allowed them to pick their punishments… within reason. We placed the charts on the side of our refrigerator and encouraged the children to look at them often.
The rest of the week was spent with us enforcing the rewards and discipline actions on the charts.
Week Two – Responsibility
The second week of Mommy’s Back to School Boot Camp was focused on encouraging the children to grow in responsibility.
We have been very, VERY lax in teaching our children to help around the house. Even during this week, I encountered resistance from Bill because he did not think the children were capable of doing everything I asked of them. If helped to be able to refer him to other homeschool blogs, especially Jamerrill at Holy Spirit-Led Homeschool and her chore chart for children.
Using Jamerrill’s chart and considering our family’s unique needs, I created a chore chart and then introduced the chart to the children.
Each day, we focused on a zone of the house and I worked with the children to teach them to do their chores. I was on my feet almost all day, every day and went to bed exhausted but my house is cleaner than it has been in a long time.
Week Three – Routine
Finally, we were ready to start school. While I had somewhat put our children back into the rhythm of our day during week two, I waited until this week to introduce our new textbooks.
Honestly, I was tempted to jump right back into the new school year and introduce all of these new items (discipline, responsibilities, and routine) all at the same time but that would have been too much for my young children… and my lazy self. By breaking it up into three weeks, our first week back to school was much easier.
Keys to a Successful Boot Camp
1. Prayer – Without seeking God first, all of my efforts are futile.
2. Consistency – I would much rather parent from my seat but effective parenting can only happen in our home when I am willing to jump to my feet. I cannot say, “Do that one more time and I am going to…” I have to say, “Because you did this, our chart says that I must do this.”
3. Supportive Spouse – If you are not on the same page with your spouse, this is NOT going to work. I would encourage you to discuss this with your spouse during the planning phase. If your husband is like mine (an only child now living in a foreign land full of rambunctious children), you might need to encourage him often to stick with the plan. You might even find yourself explaining the plan over and over and over. Try to smile. Try.
Back to School Planner Printables ~
More Back to School Help
- Use this Back to School Printable Pack for Preschool to keep the younger kids busy while you work with your older children.
- It’s time for a back to school stock up! Get a list of the best deals for the season.
- Homeschooling? Check out the Back to Homeschool Survival Kit.
- Get excited about the first day of school with my Back to School Countdown