To help you get ready and prepare for handling the back-to school mornings, I’ve got four ways to be organized. It’s tough going from summer fun to suddenly starting school, but here’s some great ways to help with this transition.
1. Prepare your home
It’s time to exchange the beach bags for backpacks! Does your homework area need to be reorganized? What lunch supplies are needed? Does everything have a place and do your children know where that place is?
The main areas to prepare are as follows:
- Closets: It’s time to make sure everything fits and is in good condition. Go through all their clothes and check. Here are some helpful hints for organizing your children’s closet.
- A Command Center or Launching Area: A launch area is the place where they will “take off” each day. Before bed they need to have everything in that spot so they won’t be late to school because they are hunting around for a stray book. They also need a place to “land” when they get home so they can unpack their lunches and get going on homework with ease. Here’s what my command center looks like.
- The Kitchen: Meal planning for breakfast and lunch in advance eliminates unnecessary trips to the store. You may also want to prepare a special cupboard for packing school lunches.
- A Homework/Homeschool Area: The kids need to know where to find pencils, paper, pens, markers, etc. Whether you use a cupboard, kitchen drawer, desk or an old hutch to keep your supplies organized the important thing is that you kids know where to find what they need to get the job done!
Evaluation is the key to thoughtful parenting of your children in every area. Take some time to stop and reflect on the previous school year. What worked for you and what didn’t? Don’t forget to talk with each of your children and get their evaluations as well. Your children will feel loved and appreciate the time you spend planning. Have your children take inventory of their school supplies and clothes from last year and decide what they actually need.
3. Daily Routine
I’m a big advocate of having a daily routine! Kids need it whether they are going to school or homeschooling. If you expect chores before or after school, set up simple routines for that. Do they make a lunch each morning? Will they have clothes picked out the night before? How will your morning look?
4. Practice! Practice!
It’s hard to have a good routine without practicing it out! Try practicing a few times, the week before you start back to school.
Some things to practice include:
- Getting dressed first thing
- Getting up to your alarm
- Making lunches
- Your morning and evening routine
- Using the launch pad
The younger kids need to practice more than the older ones, but you should also have your tweens get up and ready a couple of mornings rather than hanging out in their pajamas till noon during that last week before school starts. Clearly explaining your expectations and practicing them as a family will make the transition to the busy school days much easier for everyone.