Return to School and Post-Vacation Syndrome

The kids have are back to school. The days of running around fields and feeling the wind from the mountain are behind them. Living between four walls on one floor is not an easy task! It’s time to bring back the schedule and routines of every day: wake up at a set time, fold the pajamas, make the bed, eat breakfast, make a sandwich and make it to school quickly without forgetting anything at home (like a sports bag, for example). Some walk 35 minutes every day, other use public transportation. This year Tere has decided to use the bike to get to and from school every day.

Don’t worry if you have the post-vacation syndrome, it happens to everyone. The next holidays are a long ways away. The days of being together 24 hours for a long period of time will have to wait…

Sometimes it can even be a bit depressing, discussions between mom and dad, teenagers that are constantly questioning the rules of house, adjusting to the schedule, girls discussing if this shirt goes well with that blouse…

We’ve been back a week trying to adapt to living within these four walls. We’ve spent a lot of time dividing the clothes we still need from those we haven’t used in a long time, organizing the chest of toys, throwing away those that are broken… For me, organizing their shoes is the most difficult. They all have big feet so it’s hard to find a place to fit all their shoes.

The clothes we don’t use we put in bags and deliver to Caritas. At home there’s always someone who doesn’t want to give up their “treasures,” but their siblings help them to be extra generous.

Mother is the one who usually opens the door for everyone when they get home from school. They always arrive wanting to tell stories about everything that happened to them that day. They almost always give me a kiss (sometimes they might forget), they go to the bathroom, clean their shoes (and their dirty hands), and then have a snack. It’s usually during this time that we all sit down to eat together and share what happened during their day.

Estudiando
Homework time.

After snack time, it’s off to doing homework for them. Every one of them has their study spot where they go every day, this way they don’t waste any time deciding where to study because they’re used to their same spot: some study in their room, others study at the table in the kitchen, others study in the computer room (with the computer off, of course)… The youngest, Lolita and Rafa, study at the dinner table with me. It’s good for them to develop the habit of studying alone, but they’re so young that I stay with them to help. The others already have their routine so they know exactly where they need to go to stay focused. At times they might get distracted and when they do I always try to remind them to work hard on their studies and to focus. It’s important that the table is clear of things that might distract them: little toys, books, or the sports news… and preferably without background music. We are all a team and we help each other maintain a good environment for studying in the house.

It’s clear to the kids that there is no TV during the week, unless there’s a soccer game (“The Champions League is the Champions League,” as my kids say). When they’re done with homework and anything else they need to do, they read a little bit and then have some free time before dinner. Sometimes they go downstairs to play with the neighbors, or if the weather isn’t so good, they might take out the board games: puzzles, legos, Catan, Monopoly…

It’s exciting to be back in the routine of school!

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