Getting your kid ready for back to school can be a daunting task. Check out our free downloadable checklist (see link below) for getting ready for back to school. It will help you get organized in a sane way for that first day of school and starts a month before school and goes up to the first day. Additionally, follow these 5 steps to make getting organized for school a little easier:
1. Establish Routines Early
To get kids organized, start changing the routines: have dinner earlier, stricter bed times, and have them get the next day’s clothes out the night before to develop good habits for the school year. Start a quiet time in your household to settle the kids down and get them in the habit of calming down later in the day so they can do homework and study once school starts. Establishing these routines well before school starts should make the transition easier for everyone.
2. Be Prepared Academically
Check the summer reading list! If your kids were supposed to read books over the summer, make sure they have read them and if not, start a quiet time in the evening that is devoted to reading. By checking up on the summer reading, you will also avoid your kids getting stressed and anxious if they forgot to read the assignments. This quiet time can convert to homework and study time during the school year. Your kids will be used to this segment of quiet time and the transition will be easier for them.
3. Set Academic Expectations
Sit down with your child and talk about last school year. What worked well, what didn’t work quite so well? What can you both do to make this year better? What goals would your child like to accomplish this year? What would you like to see them accomplish? Together, list them out and discuss how you will achieve the goals and, if appropriate, schedule out steps to success. Discuss if additional help in the form of a tutor or extra help with homework would get them closer to these academic goals. Set up homework and study times – and perhaps, a household No Call Zone, where no phone calls will be accepted unless it is assignment-focused. Let your child know you will want to know his assignments daily and will want to check to be sure they are completed on time.
4. Set Household Expectations
Also set expectations for behavior around the house. This means getting up without a fuss, eating a good breakfast and lunch, honoring quiet homework time and going to bed at bedtime. It should also include honoring your No Call Zone, when and where to clear out back packs, where to put papers for parents to review/sign; where the family schedule is kept; letting parents know if rides are needed IN ADVANCE, if any sports uniforms need to be cleaned, practices, recitals, etc.
5. Set Up a Study Area
Find out how your kids study and do homework. If it’s at a table or desk, if it’s on their bed, if it’s on the floor on a comfortable cushion, you need to be sure they have the space that will help make them be the most productive. If one child likes to have music while another requires silence, invest in earphones! Have one area of the house designated to hold all school supplies. Set the expectation that once finished with a project, the supplies must be put back for anyone else to use. They can be stored in organized baskets in the pantry, in an office, in a family room, in a drawer or cupboard, but it must be accessible for everyone in the family and remain constant. Also, establish a rule that if special supplies are needed for special projects, you must be given advance warning – meaning days, not minutes!
About the Authors
Sarah Welch and Alicia Rockmore are the co-founders of Buttoned Up, inc (@getbuttonedup)., a company dedicated to helping stretched and stressed women get themselves organized and co-authors of Everything (almost) In Its Place. We welcome your thoughts! Please send ideas and questions to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us at www.getbuttonedup.com