The new school year is in full swing. Are you already overwhelmed with all the paper, events and fights over homework?
Here are my tips on Getting Organized for a New School Year:
- Empowering Your Kids
Teaching your child these skills now proves valuable for years to come. An organized kid is a better and happier student. As soon as he gets home, unpack the backpack. That includes emptying and putting the lunch and snack bags away. Then, bring the take home folder and agenda to the “homework spot”. Keep library books and backpack in same spot, preferably near the front door. At the beginning of the school year, decide together when homework will be completed based on your child’s most productive period and schedule of after-school activities. If he needs a break after school, this is that time. If he would rather get it out of the way, do it now. But, either way, be consistent. Kids need routine.
Designating a “Homework Spot”
Together, decide on a spot where homework can be accomplished without too many distractions. If your kiddo is younger, it should probably be where he can be closer to you, like a kitchen table. Older kids like their own space, such as bedroom desk. Ensure the spot is clear and have a “supply box” nearby with pencils, erasers, pencil sharpener, etc. Again, be consistent about this being the only place where homework is completed.
Keeping Track of Important School Events
Let’s face it, there is a lot going on during the school year, especially if you have multiple kids in different schools. If your school district has a calendar, get your hands on it and transfer your school’s events into your own calendar. When notices come home for field trips or class parties, immediately add them to the calendar as well. Personally, I use the Calendar app in my iPhone and have it linked with my spouse. We used a paper calendar on the side of the refrigerator for years, but found it to be inconvenient.
I also love the Melissa & Doug magnetic calendar for young kids. It teaches them how a calendar works, as well as decision making and independence.
No matter what you use, the most important advice I can give is checking your calendar every single day!
Deciding what to do with School Papers
So. Much. Paper!!! Is it all piled on the kitchen counter? School papers belong in 4 categories.
- Current school work should be stored temporarily in a three ring binder or paper organizer. Keep there until that unit of study is finished. Give one to every child and keep labeled and within their reach.
2. New important papers or amazing artwork belongs on the fridge or in an artwork frame.
3. Favorites should go in a labeled bin or, better yet, take a photo and upload to Artkive, Snapfish or Shutterfly and make a book.
4. The rest goes to the recycling bin
Lastly, I will finish with this. DO NOT LET YOUR KIDDO SEE YOU TOSS OUT ANYTHING. Hell hath no fury like a child who finds their artwork in the trash. #MomMistake