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Montgomery County parenting blogger shares advice for starting the school year off strong

Published: Aug. 26, 2020 at 12:54 AM EDT
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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - As families head back to school, staying organized will be an important part of your students’ success. One local mom expert is offering practical tips on how to do just that.

Life in the Scaggs household can be a bit chaotic - even before Montgomery County has gone back to school.

“We’re going into it knowing it’s going to be tough,” Caitlyn Scaggs said. “It’s not even really establishing a new normal yet because we don’t know what it’s going to be like.”

Harper is a rising third grader.

“This is midnight and this is Ivy,” she said showing off two of her favorite stuffed animals.

And Peyton is going into 1st grade.

“Schools have to be fun for everyone you can choose and do homework,” he said.

“Do you like doing homework?” WDBJ7′s Katey Roshetko asked.

“Yeah, but sometimes it’s boring.”

Hey! At least he’s honest!

And boring or not, homework is just one of the ways their school year is going to change as elementary students at MCPS will only be going to school part time four days a week.

"And then we had to arrange care for the rest of the day because I work outside the home and it's just a lot of scheduling to keep up with.

Scaggs shares mom and lifestyle tips on her website and blog.

Knowing that a lot of people are probably feeling as overwhelmed as she is, she said the first thing to do might be to pull back on activities this year.

“I’m keeping our schedule light because I want us to have the flexibility that if they’re tired, exhausted, or just emotionally drained from all that is involved in going back, we have the space as a family to process all that together without adding to it,” Scaggs explained.

It's also about taking care of the little things like having plenty of masks.

“When there are tons of masks on hand I’m not going to have to do tons of laundry all week long so that’s going to free me up to be more present with the kids,” she said.

Kids are given ownership of the masks by being allowed to pick out the material and pick out which mask to wear each day.

“If they like the mask, they’re going to wear the mask,” she laughed.

As a mom, she also speaks honestly but age-appropriately to her kids to give them the right expectations for the day.

“So that’s really my mission with my family as we start the school year is how can we make it as wonderful as possible even though it’s going to be unexpected,” she said.

And if that's not well said enough, even Harper has some words of advice.

“I’m not scared at all. I’m not worried cause I know it’s all going to turn out fine. It’s not like this thing is going to last forever,” she paused for dramatic effect. “Or is it?”

Is it indeed.

To learn more about Caitlyn Scaggs and read her words of advice and encouragement, visit www.caitlynscaggs.com.

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