September is a bitter-sweet time for parents. On one hand Summer is coming to an end, but on the other hand, the kids go back to school!!! Schedules begin and organized serenity fills the air. Well, for some of us we need to fine tune our habits to embrace the peaceful aura of the school season. Parents and children run in different directions as they are bombarded with new schedules, timelines and daily routines. Here are a few simple solutions to common issues all families face this time of year in hopes to simplify and calm these hectic months.
- At homework time kids are often scrambling to find markers, glue and other supplies to complete assignments and projects. A quick solution is to fill a caddy with everything your child needs to complete their work. When purchasing back to school supplies, buy extra to create your caddy. This caddy should come out only at homework time and stay replenished.
- The morning is hectic enough with sleepy children waking up early (or not). Couple that with not knowing what to wear and you have full on pandemonium! Solve this problem by purchasing a clothing cubby which hangs from a rod in your child’s closet. You can label each cubby with days of the week. On Sunday, sit with your child and preview the weather for the week. Pick out an outfit for each day, compete with socks and hair bows, and place in each daily cubby.
- Does everyone scramble to find the lunch menu, sport schedule or absentee number? Create a binder for each child and tab it School, Sports, Activities etc. Customize tabs for your family’s needs. All pertinent information should be housed in these binders as they pertain to your specific child. The binders are neat and take up minimal space eliminating lost papers and piles from cluttering your counter. Ensure they are accessible to everyone in the family for reference.
- Do your kids run out the door looking for the signed permission slip for their field trip or the test you were suppose to review? Backpacks are a sea for papers to drown in. Make it simple for your child to get you important actionable information in a timely manner. Create a tray labeled “parent in-box” where your child can place all papers requiring your action. Place it adjacent to our child’s binder. It is now your responsibility, as the parent or guardian, to review papers and return them so nothing is over looked.
- Designate an area in your home to corral all school related items such as backpacks, gym bags, sports equipment and extra supplies. It is as simple as lining a wall with laundry baskets and hanging hooks labelled for each child. This will alleviate school items from getting misplaced or littering your home.
Tweaking your family’s habits and creating systems that give everyone ownership and responsibility will help simplify this crazy time and set you up to peacefully enjoy the school year.