Fall is almost here, and the back-to-school supplies have been on display in stores for several weeks already. I’m sure kids aren’t ready to resume the schedule that being in class brings, however, there’s not much choice!
On the other hand, parents will likely be glad for schedules to begin again, when they know children will be safely in the classrooms for specific hours daily. So, it’s time to get organized and begin to retrain everyone. In the summer, we tend to relax some habits that we need when life is more structured, and need to be reinstituted for smooth living.
Start now by introducing the new habits, or getting back to the ones that work, until they’re internalized and automatic. Kids can:
1. Get back on schedule by going to bed a bit earlier at night and getting up a bit earlier in the morning. This will retrain sleep patterns.
2. Re-establish mealtime routines if they’ve been a bit lax.
3. Ensure their desk is clear and ready for the new homework season. Check to be sure the old chair is still ergonomically correct and fits them properly.
4. Take care when packing a backpack not to make it too heavy which will eventually cause back problems.
5. Choose clothing and prepare their backpack at night to help the morning flow more smoothly.
As parents, there are some things you can do too, to prepare for Day 1:
1. Check the lunch boxes from last June (if you haven’t already done so) to ensure they’re in good shape for another year.
2. If your child is going to a new school, make arrangements to visit the school before classes begin.
3. Institute an organizing system to store backpacks, lunch boxes, shoes, etc. so children can have a dedicated place for their own belongings when they come home, and act as a launching pad when they leave in the morning.
4. Post a calendar with large squares for each day in a place where the whole family has access to it. When children come home from school with their schedules, they can add their own activities to this calendar. A different color marker for each child will simplify identifying each one’s activities.
5. Decide on a system for posting your children’s artwork. If you don’t already have one, here are some ideas:
a. Scan the pieces you like best and use them as your screensaver and send to family and friends,
b. Keep the best ones in a clean pizza box, one per child per year, and write the year on the outside of the box. These will stack nicely on an upper shelf.
c. Display only one piece at a time to keep clutter to a minimum. Have each child decide whether to post the new piece or leave the old one up.
d. Set up a clothesline-type display so artwork can be hung with clothespins.
6. Have sports equipment cleaned and ready for wearing. Think hockey for winter and anything else for other seasons. Not only will it look better, proper cleaning will remove any mold that has taken up residence so the equipment is healthier to wear.
7. Enjoy one more end-of-summer or back-to-school party to celebrate the fun you’ve had and look forward to the new school year and all the good things that will bring.
Most of all, enjoy the time with each other and continue to make happy memories. It’s all about being organized, after all.