Fall brings cooler weather, falling leaves and the challenge of getting everyone back-to-school ready. With summer ending, it’s time to change gears and get back into a schedule of classes, homework and extracurricular activities. Planning ahead, getting organized and setting the tone for the coming school year doesn’t have to be hard when you follow these handy tips.
Get Your Home Back-to-School Ready
Start getting your home ready for the new school year with a fall cleanup. Not only are the kids headed back to school, but they will also going to be cooped up more because of the pending cool weather. Give your home a thorough cleaning room by room, top to bottom. Disinfect, declutter and create a healthy environment so that your kids can perform their best.
Organize Your Kids’ Closets
While getting rid of clutter in your kids’ bedrooms will always be a challenge, you can get ahead of the game by decluttering and organizing your kids’ closets. Combine cleanup time with quality family time and get the kids involved as much as possible. Your kids can help you go through the closet contents and decide what stays and what goes. Children can help put away summer clothes, pull out school and winter clothes, help organize toys and other belongings. If you don’t already use labeled storage bins in your children’s rooms, now would be the perfect time to get that started.
Create Study Spaces
With ingenuity and planning, there are plenty of options for creating work and study areas where your kids can focus on schoolwork. For a quick and easy option, the dining room table can be a perfect work area for your students as long as they can work with a minimum of noise and distractions. It’s easy to spread folders and papers out across the table and there’s plenty of room for calculators, pens and notebooks.
A room or area near the kitchen can also be a great “home office” for kids. As long as they have enough room to work comfortably, being close to parents in the kitchen gives them support and feedback to help them with their studying and homework. When you’re pinched for room, you can also use that newly organized closet for a study area.
A desk, chair light and a couple of shelves are all you need to turn a closet into a cozy homework haven.
Organize School Supplies
Organize rulers, erasers, paper, pens and other essentials. Drawer dividers or a silverware insert are a great way to sort and separate school supplies and keep them out of the way. A desktop organizer or old utensil holder can be an easy solution to keeping markers, pens and pencils at the ready, too. Use shelves to stack paper and organize school books and notebooks for studying. For smaller items like erasers, paper clips and thumb drives, small jars with lids can be a perfect solution to keep things organized.
Set Up a Communications Center
Choose an area or corner that’s in plain sight of everyone in the family as a primary communications center. This designated area is where paperwork, assignments, schedules for school, sports and other important communication tools should be located for easy review and tracking. It’s also a good place for the kids’ weekly cleaning schedule. Your communications center can be the back of a door, open wall space in the kitchen or other places with easy access.
If you have the space, calendars, chalkboards and bulletin boards help keep busy schedules on track and school assignments turned in on time. You can make your communications center as simple or elaborate as you’d like as long as it gets the job done. You can include supplies like pens and markers, hooks and small shelves for miscellaneous items and more. With the popularity of smartphones, laptops and other digital devices, a digital calendar could be a convenient way to keep up with scheduling and reminders.
Create a Home Schedule
A schedule for routine activities at home, like sleeping time, meal times, homework times and more can make getting back-to-school ready easier. It’s a good idea to include the kids when you design your home schedule for more buy-in. You want to have the schedule up and running at least a week before school starts to get the kids acclimated. From implementing earlier bedtimes to simply getting the kids into a post-summer routine, starting your new routine early will make the back-to-school transition easier for everyone.
Are Your Kids Back-to-School Ready?
Back-to-school time always means new transitions for parents and children. While kids struggle with that blend of excitement and nervousness, parents are usually worried about having everything on hand the family needs for a successful start to the new school year. Here are some tips on how to make this exciting time a smooth transition.
Get Back Into a Regular Sleep Schedule
As summer ends and the new school year is just around the corner, it’s time to get the kids used to a different sleep routine. No more going to bed late and getting up whenever—pick a bedtime and wake up time that will give your children the rest they need to perform well in school and make mornings less stressful. Starting the new sleep schedule a few weeks before school begins gets everyone used to the new routine for an easier transition.
Shop for School Supplies Together
To help get kids ready to start the new school year, go shopping together and pick out the school supplies. Let kids pick out as much of the supplies as possible, especially backpacks, lunchboxes and maybe even a new outfit. While there will be required supplies dictated by your child’s school, the more you let them take the lead, the more excited they will be about getting back to school. Your family shopping trip will give your kids a sense of responsibility and control that should make getting back-to-school ready an easier process.
Make A Game Plan for After School
Make a plan for where your child will go after school lets out. Depending on the age of your child, they may go to a neighbor’s house, an after-school program, or be allowed to stay home by themselves. The game plan will help eliminate confusion during the first few weeks as the kids get used to the new routine. Set some rules like no video games, TV or computer until their studying and homework is completed. Make sure the kids have drinks and snacks so that they can focus on their work and not feel hungry. The more detailed your game plan, the better. You don’t want to leave too much room for interpretation!
Review School Schedules, Policies and Other Materials
Schools usually send home a packet with a lot of information about your child’s new teacher, important dates, emergency forms, dropping off and picking up and more. Make sure you read through this information carefully and mark down all important dates on your calendar in your communications center. The more you know about what’s ahead, especially the first few weeks, the less likely you and your child will be to run into something unexpected.
Get Your Child’s Yearly Check-Up
Schools mean lots of kids and lots of kids mean germs. Keep your child healthy and safe by making a check-up part of your back-to-school ready strategy. Have your pediatrician inoculate your child with any required vaccinations, check them over for any concerns and generally assure they have a clean bill of health for the upcoming school year. It’s also a good idea to have your child’s dentist give them a check-up, too. Any potential problems like cavities can be spotted and taken care of so that there are no unnecessary interruptions during the school year.
With these handy tips, preparation and organization, you can get your home and your family back-to-school ready. You can ease the kids into the new routine and know your family is prepared for the school year.