This time next week, we will be into the Labour Day long weekend. My family is so looking forward to it because its a 4 day weekend for hubby AND 2 of those days are PAID! The bonus? A is looking forward to it because once its done, she gets to GO BACK TO SCHOOL!!!
With the last week before school, that means a busy time in our house! We need to set up our homework area, finish any last minute back to school prep, redo our schedules and post them, get the house organized for those hectic school mornings, redo the entry way for school organization, plus more!
Last night, thanks to my AMAZING big sis, I was able to order my daughters school and allergy labels. Which means, OFFICIALLY, once that & her iPad 2 arrive in the mail (both hopefully next week!), we are OFFICIALLY 100% READY for back to school!
Now with the week before school and autism, for us, means MORE prep then we've been doing. This weekend we set up her homework area which is going in my office/photography studio (the room is quickly shrinking!!)
Then we set up our new schedules. We write them up, we make our velcro pictures, we cut, paste, laminate and put it all together! We review it as a family! We have our school schedules (what to expect during the day at school!), our morning schedules, after school schedules & bedtime schedules. We have our homework and tutoring schedules as well.
Next is our notes area! This is where we hang our new dry erase boards that we replace once a year otherwise they get too dirty. We each have one with our name on it. Then we have our individual calendars for remembering tutoring, work schedules, bookings, therapy appts, doctors appts, special school events, etc. Then we have the family calendar that has all that and then all our family events on it!
Then comes the menu making for her lunches. We discuss the foods and snacks she wants for her lunches and morning snacks. I make my menus and my grocery list AFTER taking pantry and freezer stock (since we are in our no spending month, I have a list of FULL stock for pantry and freezer already). We have a special cubby of drawers filled with back to school snacks for her, so she can pick them for her lunch each day. Divided into portion sizes by container or baggy to put into containers when packing the lunch. This includes organic juice boxes for the rare times I run out of organic homemade juice---I try to keep on top of that but sometimes I dont have the time! Thats the life of a mom, double business owner, wife & housekeeper, plus all the other things I do in my day to day life---this includes trail mix (homemade and nut free), snack mix (homemade and completely allergen free), etc. I will be honest, MOST of our snacks like homemade granola bars, muffins, treats, etc are frozen because they are homemade and completely allergen free. Its safer to keep them frozen otherwise they will go bad pretty fast. I do feed my child anything with perservatives in it, therefore, its hard to keep them out and not frozen for more then a day or two TOPS!
Next comes the labeling!! This is a big job because my daughters school requires that EVERYTHING be labeled with child name. This includes: clothes, shoes, supplies, books, bags, EVERYTHING!!!!! And in the case of my daughter with her SEVERE allergies, I need to have all her food and drink containers not only labeled with her name BUT with her allergy labels too!!! Same with her lunch bags! I literally will spend a couple hours labeling all her clothes, supplies, containers, etc! It's a time consuming event! I usually dedicate one afternoon to it, to get everything together, making sure all the new clothes fit and then are washed. Then I start the labeling process in between loads of laundry I label the things that don't need to be washed, etc.
That's the basics of my week prep. A lot more goes into it, but thats the basic idea of what goes on for me! I need to have my daughter fully involved in this week. She needs to know whats going on at ALL times! This is also the week, where we do our back to school run. That is where we get up at our usual time and go to bed at our usual time (year round). We get up and run our morning routine, we make the walk to school, we play at the playground at the end of the school day, we pack our morning snack and lunches for the day, then eating on the school schedule, reminding her to stay sitting. We play outside on weather appropriate days and on non weather appropriate days we play games inside and do crafts, just like they would at school during "recess" times. We don't watch tv during the day, only after school IF then! She gets into the swing of things and learns what to expect each day.
This is the basics of our final week before school! This should be an interesting journey. It's also my week for back to school meetings with teachers, the principal, OT's, school workers, etc. To boot? My daughter has a dental surgery appt on Thursday of this week & its about 45 minutes away and she doesnt travel well due to her autism AND due to the accident she was in earlier this summer. I'm really worried about that appointment! Wish me luck on this busy week! Here's to hoping I can get it ALL accomplished in one week!