Saturday, August 29, 2015

Move over, summer—a new school year is coming!

With the start of school, families face new organizational challenges. Early-morning alarm clocks ring. Paper piles swell as hand-outs and homework stream into the house. Shorter autumn days bring a hectic round of sports activities and events, and calendars fill to the brim. Get organized now for the best school year ever! Use these ideas to prepare your home and family for the busy days ahead.

Ease the family into a school year schedule.
The first day of school is no time for a huge adjustment of household sleep schedules. Instead, ease children back into a school year routine gradually. Begin waking late sleepers earlier and earlier, closer to the hour they’ll need to rise when school begins. Plan easy, healthy breakfasts and lunches ahead of tiem to make the mornings go smoother and pick clothing the night before. 

Keep up learning activities.
While it’s best to have learning activities throughout the summer, if you’ve fallen off, now is a good time to reintroduce them. Have your child read for at least 20 minutes a day, play math games and review math facts. Set up a designated homework station where the kids can sit down and focus to get it all done.

Gather supplies for organizing homework/paperwork.
For younger kids, shopping for a new backpack and filling it with school supplies builds excitement for the first day. Consider also purchasing a school supplies caddy filled with extra supplies, so if they run out at school you will always have more at home. Drawers for homework are a plus. For older kids, buy a notebook with dividers for each subject to organize homework, notes, handouts, quizzes/tests, and assignments. Use an accordion file to keep completed assignments at home.

Make a family calendar.
Nothing calms school year chaos like a central family calendar. Whether you use a paper calendar on the fridge or sync your tablets on a digital calendar, you’ll need a centralized place to track after-school activities, school programs and volunteer work. Be sure to add school lunch menus, important due dates, sports practice schedules or field trip days to keep everyone on track.

Starting the school year organized both at home and at school, will help the whole family to feel more prepared for fall. Happy New School Year!