In our second post in our Back to School Series we are sharing some great tips to get things organized at home so that you save time, and keep important papers and notes from getting lost and enter back into the new routine smoothly. If you missed our post All About Lunches last week, you can find it here!
Getting back on schedule
- Sleep: Make sure your child is able to get up for that first day of school, by slowly easing into a school-friendly sleep schedule about two weeks before the start of school. Gradually wake her up a bit earlier each morning, and start bedtime a bit earlier each evening until you are close to the school schedule. If you're not sure how much sleep your child should be getting, have a peek at our Sleep post here.
- Meals: Just like we should ease our children into a school sleep schedule, you might be good to ease them into a school eating schedule. Chances are if your children have been staying at home during the summer their eating schedule might be quite different from what it will be once school starts again. This is especially important for younger children who isn't familiar with the school eating schedule (some schools allow snacking, some don't).
Calendar it up
- Unless you want to be at the mercy of last minute scrambling, a family calendar is a must. Whether you use a paper calendar on your fridge, or an online one that syncs to other family members' smart devices doesn't matter. The important thing is to pick the one that will be the easiest for you to use.
- Make sure to enter any after school activities, as well as classroom activities. Any appointments should also go in the calendar so that everyone can see at a glance what's happening on any given day.
- If you are a menu-planner (and it is a great, time-saving thing to do), this is also a great place to record your lunch and/or dinner plans because you'll be able to see which days you need a quick meal, and which days you have more time.
Conquer the paper clutter
- Keep a file folder in your child's backpack and call it the post office! It's your child's job to deliver papers in the post office when he gets to school in the morning, and again when he comes home from school. This is a great way to make sure permission slips, school forms and home work comes back and forth without getting scrunched up in the bottom of the backpack.
- Set up a homework station which will be the go-to place for any homework time after school. We shared some great tips on Preparing for homework here!
- Create a launch pad where backpacks are stored along with anything else you need before you walk out the door in the morning. That way, homework (in the post office file folder) can go straight into the backpack when completed and your child is not rushing around in the morning trying to find their school work.
- Use a closet organizer to lay out each day's outfit for the week. That way your child need only grab today's outfit and put it on in the morning. Easy peasy!
- If your house has more people than bathrooms, it might be a good idea to create a bathroom schedule, to make sure everyone gets ready in time. We love how the Knot Genie detangling brush and magic hair bands saves us time (and tears) in the morning (see picture below).
- Set the breakfast dishes the evening before (they can go out as soon as the supper dishes are cleaned away). Set out dry foods like the cereal box or bag of bread for quick access in the morning. Load the coffee maker the evening before as well.
- For younger children, a checklist with pictures can help keep the morning routine smooth. A list featuring a picture for getting dressed, eating breakfast and brushing hair/teeth can go on the fridge with a magnet that moves down as each task is completed. Your goal is to get your child to be self sufficient rather than depending on your repetitive reminders every morning.
- Set a timer! It's amazing how well it works when you give your child a set time to complete a task.