By Emily Buys

 Is anyone else struggling to stay sane (and organized) this summer? Typically I let our school year structure go, and take things easy over the summer, but I'm finding it may be backfiring because I can't get the kids to do anything! I take that back - they're in for all things fun, of course! I'm preparing to gear up for the new school year, with organization first. I have a busy family of 6, so to keep everyone on the same page I have created a back-to-school family calendar, complete with routine schedule.

I figure the best chance I have for the kids to adhere to a calendar and a schedule is to have them help me plan it. I set up a large poster board, colored pencils and markers, and some popcorn and Tampico Tropical Punch, to make the family calendar creating a little more fun. The kids loved giving input and adding some drawings to the calendar, and appreciated the snack and refreshing beverage. It's been awfully hot this summer, so a cold drink is always a must. Plus, food and drink always makes the kids happier and more amenable.

If you have a large whiteboard then this would work great so you can erase and edit the calendar as needed. I decided just to use a poster board, so the kids couldn't erase or change the routine. I figure we'll need to make a new one every few months or so, to add or change the times of extra curricular activities. For the most part though - things should stay the same. I plan to use sticky notes for the menu planning.

In addition to the calendar, pick an after-school routine that works for your family. The kids all wanted to know what will happen if they finish one segment before the time is up, so we decided more free time could be allowed. Do what's best for you and your kids.

As you get ready for the new school year, check out Tampico’s #SchoolIsCool Awww Snap! Promotion. Us moms are always taking back-to-school pictures, so use those photos to enter to win some amazing prizes from Tampico! Just upload & share your most memorable back to school photos using Tampico's fun frames, to be entered to win a $1,000 gift card and a Tampico back-to-school pack. Participate during their Blitz sessions and you also have chance to win a $25 gift card! Don’t miss out, share your favorite #SchoolIsCool moments and learn more about how tp participate on Tampico’s Facebook page!


For more articles by Emily visit her blog