Last school year was our first one when our son went to Kindergarten. It was very exciting and, at the beginning of the year, I felt a little lost but it wasn’t hard to start feeling like we belonged. My son started to make friends quickly while I volunteered and also met more parents and people from the school in general.
But, I didn’t feel quite as well organized as I would have wanted to be throughout the school year. But this year, I want to feel like I have everything in place – routines, lunches, schedules, etc. – planned ahead of time, especially the paperwork. For example, I confess I kept almost everything that came back from school and I just recently finished going through it all deciding what is good to keep and what is not.
That is why this year I want to start fresh now that I have more experience. Here is some back to school tips I came up with to help with back to school organization:
1. Make charts for daily routines
These are like road maps for the kids, they love them. Even if they are simple they will use them because it gives them something to look forward to. Make a chart of the order the morning routine should go in, for example: wake up, go to the bathroom, brush your teeth, get dressed, eat breakfast, and so on. Set the schedule however works best for both or all of you. You can even make a night routine chart, too. If they have to place a sticker or a check mark after the routine is completed, even better.
2. A place for homework
If you can make a special place in the house or their room for doing homework, go ahead and do it! Be flexible and maybe have the option where they can also sit at the dining room table if they want to do that one day. Just set the area up initially with their things so they see it and feel they have their own little space.
3. Back to school early shopping
If you haven’t started shopping for back to school supplies your kids will need, start now! In fact it is best to start at the end of July when everything is getting put on the shelves, that way you will find lots of inventory because if you go last minute it will be harder – trust me I’ve been there.
4. A drawer for the week
To avoid those battles of what to wear every day I recommend using one drawer with all the clothes for the week. Use separators, plastic boxes or even just small cards with the days of the week and place one set of pants, a shirt and a pair of socks in each one. You can have your kid place the clothes that he or she wants to wear for that week, too.
5. Artwork gallery
They always come home with wonderful artwork they create at school and many times it goes right in a pile and nobody admires it ever again. Have a specific place at home where you showcase your kids’ art, it might be a simple cord with clothespins or a special frame that you can interchange a lot, anything will do and you will all feel proud of having it in plain sight.
6. A system for all those papers
Before the year ends and you realize you still haven’t sorted through all the school paperwork, create a station where you have a bin to keep, a bin to toss away and a bin for must check. The must check bin should have papers that need an answer or information on any upcoming event for example. The keep bin is to put away and save your kid’s art or activity sheets. If you have these bins together it will be easy to file the papers every day.
Following these tips will help a lot for starting the new school year off well organized. Good luck and have a great new school year!