It’s that time of year again and it’s an exciting one. Kids get to catch up with old friends and get a fresh start at new school year. Ensuring your kids are prepared and to help make a smooth transition means getting the family set-up at home and organized. A little time spent in advance will give your kids confidence and reassurance as the head into a new year.
Filing Systems aren’t just for the office!
Just like offices accumulate papers so do students. Tests, classwork and quizzes can pile up over time and without the right organizational method it can quickly turn into a pile of messy papers. Get a home file box – one per child and some file folders. Start the habit of filing papers at the end of each week. Get the kids involved and soon they will be doing it without you. Colour coding items by class or topic helps too. This will give your kids the reference materials they need for final exams or give you the opportunity to review their progress throughout the year.
Set up Work Stations
The majority of schools are highly structured environments and although it’s nice for kids to come home and be free, having some designated spaces in your home can help establish good work habits. A designated homework area free of games, screen time and other distractions will help your child develop good study habits – even if it’s just for 5-10 mins initially. This is also a good place to leave completed work, ready to be picked-up the next morning on the way to school. A space for after school snacks is also a good idea. Your kids will know this is where they can unwind, recharge and talk about their day. Having boxes or crates with designated school supplies will prevent items from being scattered all over the house and reduce frustration when it comes time to complete a project.
Share a Calendar/Schedule
With the number of sharable calendars and chart calendars available today there is absolutely no reason for the whole family to know who is where on which day. With younger kids getting into the habit of writing everything on a wall calendar is great. They can see what they have scheduled for the week and where Mom & Dad will be on any given day. As kids get older and start to embrace technology – share a google calendar across the family. Teach the kids to start putting their own activities into the calendar – that way they know if there is a family event before they try to make plans to go out with friends.
Hoard School Supplies
Ok maybe hoarding is a bit of an extreme word to use but let’s just say in this one instance it’s ok to purchase more than you need when it comes to poster board, glue, markers and other project type products. Keep a regular amount out and available and then have your secret stash hidden away in a closet somewhere. You will be so glad when one of your kids comes to you in a panic at 5 pm the day before a major project is due. One would think that with all the other organizational methods you’ve implemented that this wouldn’t happen but the reality is it probably will – so you might as well be prepared for it.
Super Car! Super Parent!
Ok I know it sounds a little geeky (but hey geeks rule the world so it’s ok!) – have a super kit in the back of your car. Stock it with a first aid kit, kleenex, sports drinks, water, and none perishable snacks. With everyone on the Go, Go, Go sometimes we just don’t have time to stop and grab this stuff.