It is time for the new school year to begin and just like a fresh composition notebook the possibilities for success can make for exciting times. Keeping your kids organized will help them with the transition and keep your home happier:
1. Establish new routines with a checklist for each student. What needs to happen every morning to get the kids to school on time? What are the after school responsibilities? This is a wonderful strategy for getting things started. While younger children may see it as a game (can I get all of my checks this week?) older students will learn exactly what you expect from them. This may not eliminate all conflicts but it certainly improves communication.
2. Create a system for school papers. There are papers you will need to refer to throughout the year and those on which you may need to take immediate action. Designate a spot for kids to put the papers that require your attention. Designate a file folder or notebook for each student so you have easy access to school rules, contact information, class schedules, etc. This is bound to save you time when things get hectic.
3. Create a calendar to help you remember. Don’t try to keep all of the schedules in your head-especially in the beginning! Tuesday is gym day, drama practice runs until 4:00 and Johnny’s mom is bringing Sally home after violin practice-having a visual reminder of these schedules will help you remind your kids what they need for any given day. Doing so will make them more organized and successful.
4. Be Flexible – your kids may need you to adapt your system so they can be more effective. If Tommy prefers his to-do list on his bedroom door as opposed to the dining room table, make it work for him. The goal is to help him do a better job and get used to the new routine.
If your child’s school communicates electronically, be sure to post login credentials where everyone has access. It may also help to keep an electronic calendar that each family member can edit.
Happy School Year!