Getting organized for back to school is usually fun! The shopping for supplies and new clothes, a new haircut…the anticipation of seeing friends that you haven’t seen for 8-10 weeks. It’s all pretty exciting!
And the plans to make this year run smoothly, be organized, get out of the house on time, no arguing to get out the door and being able to find everything that everyone needs is usually on target – for at least the first few weeks.
Then reality sets in….
All your good intentions to keep this a stress-free school year CAN be tossed out the window. So, let me share with you my top Tips to creating school year habits to help you and your family stay organized.
- You have heard this before – but it is worth saying again. Keep yourself organized and your children will stay organized. When parents develop, and then stick to habits children will also develop those habits. Trust me…I know that this is hard! And it doesn’t happen overnight. Some of the habits that I developed to keep our little girl organized are:
- Have a designated place for backpacks – make sure that they are in this spot and ready to go in the morning. Avoid the “where is that backpack” question as the kids are trying to catch the bus every morning.
- Figure out where your child will do their homework – and this should be child specific, not every child should do homework in their room. Some work better at the kitchen or dining room table. No reason to cause more stress – let them work in the place that they are the most comfortable. They will be able to concentrate more, get more done and be more productive
- Stick to a scheduled bed time. This is important for any age group. Children need their sleep – they function better when they are rested. And, just so you aren’t cursing at me right now, know that I have had 3 teenagers at one time who all played in sports. I understand that this habit can change with the sport seasons and I know that it is not easy! Just do the best you can to ensure that your child gets enough rest.
- Plan your meals ahead of time! I plan my weekly meals on Saturday for the following week – we do the grocery shopping on Sunday afternoons so I know that I will have everything for the week (and yes, I make a list!) Being able to just cook your meal (rather than spending the time to prep it too) will save you so much time. I’m a fan of crockpot meals and having meals prepped ahead of time.
2. Review your child’s schedule on Sunday evening. Make the decision who will be responsible for drop-off and pick-ups and if you will be in need of assistance from a friend or neighbor. It is ok to ask for help – it is not ok to stress yourself out trying to do it all. My husband and I rotate dropping off our little girl in the mornings. If he drops her off she has to get up early to go to before/after care. If my schedule allows me to take her into school, I drop her off and walk her into the school. This gives us some great time together on the ride into school and allows her to sleep about an hour longer. We try to rotate the responsibility as much as possible so that we don’t get stressed out.
3. Set up a designated place in your home with all of the school supplies. Maybe each child has their own supplies in their designated homework area or in their room. Maybe there is a central area where all the school supplies are kept. It will depend on your individual situation but definitely make sure that you have school supplies available for them to do their homework. Time spent looking for things is time wasted. Our little girl has her desk in her bedroom and this is where she keeps “Her” supplies. The desk in our family room is “Our” desk. She doesn’t take our supplies and we don’t take hers.
Don’t let the hype of a new school year wear off too soon. Keeping the excitement of the first day, first week and first month will help keep you on task, on track and organized.
Also know that your will need to be flexible. Be willing to try different ideas to find out what will work best for your child. Give yourself at least 2 weeks of trial and error with any system…nothing was fixed in a day. Time is your friend – not your enemy.
Need help putting together your child’s schedule, trying to figure out how you will implement everything mentioned above? Need another set of eyes to help you brainstorm new ideas? Give us a call @ 540-220-5912 to schedule a FREE 1 Hour Consultation. Let’s walk through it together and find solutions that work for you!