Back-to-School time is almost here!
Can you believe it’s that time of year again? That time when our thoughts turn from extra sleep and laid back days to early mornings, packing lunches, homework, fall sports, and seemingly endless hustle and bustle. We often start the year by declaring that this is the year we’re going to stay organized and (relatively) stress-free for the entire school year. Here are some back-to-school tips for things that you can do at home to help you succeed.
- Scheduling 101. Whether you have one bundle of joy heading back-to-school or more, chances are that your schedule is about to get very busy. A dry erase calendar hung in a central spot where everyone can see it can help with planning. Or, if you prefer to go the high tech route, there are a number of apps that you can use to organize your family’s activities. Check out Hub Family Organizer, Cozi, or Wunderlist.
Another great tool that is simple, easy and free is Google Calendar. It can take some time to set up initially but can also save major time on those busy afternoons when you need it most. Create a calendar in your Google account for each child then assign a default color to each calendar. Then, select all of the calendars to show in one view so that you can see your whole week at a glance either on your phone or on your computer. Another perk of using Google Calendar is that you can include the location of the game or event in the calendar event and share the calendar with grandparents, aunts, uncles or anyone else who may want to come watch a game or two. One of the keys to success is to add those calendar events as soon as you get the schedule.
- Homework Zones. Designate homework areas and stock them with essential supplies that may be needed to maximize productivity and efficiency. Depending on your child, you may want the homework area in a central location, such as the kitchen, and for others you may want the designated homework stop to be in a potentially less distracting room, like a home office.
- Take Inventory. Go through all those school clothes from last year and donate any unwanted items. This will help you determine what new items you need to buy for the school year. Then, on the weekends during the school year be sure that your children have picked out their clothes for the coming week. Depending on their ages, you may need to help or at least provide encouragement to get it done.
- Supply Stock-Up. Most of us have been there. It’s 9:00 and you just found out that there’s a project due tomorrow morning. Oh, and it requires special supplies. Avoid late night freak-outs by stocking up on poster board, extra colored pencils, glue sticks, and any other supplies that may be age appropriate for projects your children may be assigned so that you’ll have them on hand when that moment comes.
Now, get to it. This is your year!