Start this school year off on the right foot with these Back-To-School organizing tips. Getting ahead of the rush of papers, homework, practice schedules and faster paced days that come with the start of school will help ease the stress and keep you more put together than you might feel on most days!
Set up a Homework Station:
Designate a homework station where the kids can sit down away from screens and distractions where they can focus to get it all done. Decide ahead of time what your expectations are for when they should work on homework. Is it something that should be done first thing, or do you give them a few minutes to chill, and eat a snack before tackling schoolwork. Ours varies from day to day based on sports/extracurriculars, but we try to do a look ahead meeting each Sunday afternoon/evening, so we know what the schedule looks like each week and we know which days we need to double up on studying to accommodate for late nights during the week.
Family Calendar/Bulletin Board:
Sometimes it helps to have a centralized calendar up where everyone in the family can see what’s going on each week, practice days, game schedules etc. We keep this up in the kitchen which is our coming and going spot and I’m sure everyone will pass by it several times each day.
School Papers and Filing:
Create a filing system before school starts to keep up with important school papers. We have one for each child and one for “family.” Again, this stays in the kitchen (our makeshift command center) and houses papers that might not need immediate attention like field trip forms, picture day information, information on their classroom/teachers – so I know what time they have lunch or where they’ll be if I need to do a check out for Dr’s appts etc.
Create a Morning Checklist:
Mornings can be rough, especially when it comes to getting up much earlier than they’ve been used to, sit down with your kiddo and figure out all of the tasks they need to complete each morning in order to be ready to walk out the door. Breakfast, brush teeth, brush hair, get dressed etc… these tasks will vary based on the age of your child but can work with even the smallest students. Make a checklist on a poster board, magnetic board or whiteboard. You can post this in a couple of places around the house as a reminder. If your little ones can’t read, draw pictures. If one of their tasks is to make the bed, draw a picture of a bed. Brush teeth, draw a toothbrush… etc.
Have clothes picked out the night before, maybe even pick out 5 outfits for the week for them to choose from. This helps them feel like they have options, which can be a big deal. Every morning, kids get up, and get dressed before even coming downstairs.
You can get your days organized and out of the house in the mornings without nagging, yelling and tears (yours and theirs) we promise, but developing and adhering to predictable routines and organizing ahead of time is key. It may take a little trial and error to get everyone into their new habits but in no time, you can be on your way to some less stressful school days!
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