The last of the first Back to School days is this week. All of the little ones (and us) are starting in the groove of going to school and the activities that go with that. That means waking up early, homework – ROUTINE! With school comes relief and a bit of anxiety for what the year holds for our kids. Here are some quick tips & tricks to help make the year successful.
1 – Have your morning routine printed out and they can be a part of it!
- All of us as parents know what it’s like to keep our little ones on track and out the door on time. But the more we “nag” the more they tune us out. So make a game of it for them and have them be a part of it.
- iheartorganizing has a great printable checklist that you can download HERE
- If you have a smartphone or tablet that your child can use in the morning, download the Happy Kids Timer. It can be customized to fit the schedule and items your child does in the morning and it then tells them to keep moving to the next thing. They can also earn stars and a reward.
2 – Plan your lunches for the week
- Coming up with what to pack for their lunch and/or snack each day can be daunting. So plan ahead.
- Organize your refrigerator with items set aside for each day of the week. Just grab that day’s bag/container – make the lunch and you’re all set.
- You can also organize be type of food for easy grab and go
3 – Develop a family calendar
- With school also comes sports, dance, school events … and so much more! As a mom I’m the one keeping track of it all, but having my husband and my parents in the loop for “their portions” or just knowing what is going on that day is a must.
- Google calendar is an easy way to add a family specific calendar that syncs with various calendar applications/programs and is available on your phones too.
- Cozi Family App is another one that you can invite those that you’d like into your calendar.
4 – Organize their closet for school clothes or uniforms
- They outgrow clothes and shoes so fast don’t they? Take the time to go through their closet to really know what you have and what you need. This helps avoid overspending and also cleans out the closet to make room for the new.
- Take the struggle out of deciding an outfit each day by planning the school week during the weekend. I saw on Pinterest an easy way to label each hanger with the day of the week. You can see one sample here. Lay out each item they need on that set of hangers for that day. Then they take ownership of getting ready.
5 – Create a Homework Zone
- Have a space in your house that has good lighting, table room and a chair they can work from.
- Make it more fun by either hanging some of their art along the wall or have colorful containers to hold pencils, pens, erasers and anything they would need.
6 – Pace Yourself on Volunteering
- My husband would probably say I should take my own advice! As a volunteer with the PTA, room mom and lover of the word “yes” – I can attest to the fact that pacing yourself is the best option.
- As our kids start school we want to be involved and be there for every aspect. But sometimes quality is better then quantity. So when you volunteer, make sure it’s something that truly interests you and that you can be dedicated to.
- Committees are a great way to start so that you don’t have all of it on your shoulders. Or be a chaperone on a field trip. Whatever you do – have fun!
7 – Pack the Backpack the Night Prior
- Instead of leaving homework on the table, have them put it in their backpacks the night before. This removes the chance of leaving it at home
- Complete all the school documents as you get them and put those in a folder to deliver to the school
8 – Stay Informed on School Activities & Social Media is Key
- Download the school’s calendar and write it / input it into your own calendar you created (as mentioned above). This includes all of those early out days, holidays, ski week, back to school nights.
- Be sure and follow the schools Facebook Page, as well as the PTA/PTO’s Facebook page. They post current events there and it’s a way for you to ask questions if you have them.
9 – Keep Communicating
- This means with the teacher AND with your child
- Know what is going on at school – the good & the bad, so that they know you are there and are open to anything they need to talk to you about
- Have a good rapport with the teacher. They will share with you all the great things your child is doing, as well as things you may need to keep an eye on
- Support your child’s relationship with their teacher. Talk about them in a positive manner and let your kids know they are there to help them if they need it.
- Know about and support their relationship with their peers. Friends are important as they develop and you want those relationships to be positive.
- If they don’t open up easily by asking how there day was – make a game of it. An example is “Two Truths & a Lie”. You share 2 truths and a lie about what happened in your day and then have them do the same. It makes it fun for everyone and you can play it during dinner!
10 – Have Quiet Time Together
- Take 15-20 minutes at night after dinner and just enjoy quiet time together. This will help them wind down for bed.
- This can also help move their bedtime up a bit to make sure they are well rested for school
- YOU are who makes their year the best and spending time with you at the end of each day make each one special