Written by Rachel Spencer
As the local fairs begin to wind down, school is about to begin and that means little or no break for the many stock show families across the country. To make the transition from home in the barn to the classroom easier for everyone, here are a few tips.
1. Establish a new normal routine. My sons would love to continue spending the vast majority of their time in the barn but with school and fall sports upon us, we have to establish a new normal. Try making a list of the tasks that must be completed both daily and weekly to come up with a schedule that allows for plenty of time in the barn and hitting the books.
2. Post a calendar. Our local businesses often offer large desk calendars and they’re perfect for making the day, week, and month visible to everyone whenever they walk through the kitchen. Throughout the summer, the calendar was filled with livestock weights, feeding changes, show dates, and harvest details. Now that we’re back to school, the calendar reflects practices, special school events, and, perhaps most importantly, upcoming deadlines, so nothing slips through the proverbial cracks.
3. Organize meals and snacks. To make feeding livestock easier throughout the summer, my boys had a myriad of bags all organized in a central location. They’re continuing this practice but I’m also adapting their method in my kitchen. Try planning meals for a week or other manageable period so you’re not wondering if you have the ingredients to make dinnertime easy and the ideas to make it so. The fridge is also stocked with easy snacks in plastic bags the boys can grab on their way home from practice or on their way out the door.
4. Sort, share, and save those memories. One of the most daunting tasks is sorting through the photos and videos from the latest show or the entire summer. Spend some time sorting, saving, and printing the photos. This will make sharing or scrapbooking them easier when the dust clears and you have time to do so. Now is also a great time to clean cameras and the bags (how many Snickers wrappers can one family collect anyway?) and put them all away so they’re ready to grab and go when the first game rolls around.
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