Wednesday, August 10, 2011
10 Back-to-School Tips | Family Economics
Between purchasing school items and getting the children back into the school routine, gearing up for back-to-school can be a very busy and stressful time. It’s important to purchase items and set schedules that will help ease the madness and transition the family from summer fun to school season.
Here are 10 tips I’ve found to be helpful for my family:
1. Mom Calendar. The first thing a mom needs to organize the upcoming school year is a calendar to record and keep track of her family’s daily schedules, school events, after school activities and appointments. Be sure to include on your calendar physical education, library and other days that your children will need to remember. I suggest also picking up a variety of colored markers and assigning each family member one color to use on the calendar for their specific events and activities.
2. Kid Binders. Your children will begin bringing home piles of papers from school and other various activities. How can a mom keep these organized and easy to retrieve when needed? Create a child binder using binder dividers to organize each child and activity.
3. Color Folders. Purchase a package of colored file folders and assign each child one color. Use these to file important papers such as copies of their birth certificates, debit cards (when not in use), tickets to upcoming events, emergency information to use when filling out forms and immunization records. I also place gift cards, library cards and other items we need to keep track of in these files that are then placed in my desktop file.
4. Chore Charts. With school back in session, it is the perfect time to re-assign household chores and personal responsibilities. I give each of my children a clipboard with their weekly to do check list (chore chart). Their chore charts also include all the things I get tired of reminding them to do such as brush your teeth, practice piano, do your homework, clean your room and pack your backpack for school. This has stopped me from having to ask, “Did you,” multiple times each day. My children are now responsible to make sure they get their list checked off each day.
5. Clothes for the Week. On Sunday night have your children pick out their clothes for the week. Hang them in order in their closet or fold them neatly in a clothing stacker or dresser drawer. This will save time each morning deciding and searching for what to wear.
6. Prepare the Night Before. Train your children to prepare for their day the night before by packing their lunches, cleaning out and re-filling their backpacks, placing their shoes by the door and checking the family calendar. Also have them prepare for after school activities by packing what they will need into a sports bag, including snacks, sports equipment, water bottles, etc.
7. Lunch Money. Use an empty envelope to hold their lunch or milk money. This will ensure that money will not get lost in the bottom of their backpacks.
8. Snacks. Use an old lunch box or lidded container and create a snack box to use for those busy afternoons of activities. You can keep it in the car and refill as needed.
9. Labels. Purchase personalized labels with your children’s names to use on their lunchboxes, clothing, school supplies, sports equipment, thermos, water bottles, electronics, etc. You can also use luggage tags on their backpacks and duffel bags to make sure your children don’t mix up their items with others.
10. Homework Station. Create a place stocked with the school supplies for your children to do their nightly homework. You can also create a portable homework station. For complete how-to instructions to create a DIY homework station to ride along with your children as they travel from one activity to the next.
What are some of your back-to-school organizational tips?