August is winding down and it's near the inevitable back to school time, this may instil a shiver of fear in some parents, but help is at hand. Before you get buried in uniforms, lunchboxes & homework, check out the below tips to help you get your family organised for back to school this September.
1. Set up the routine
Set up the routine now and test it. Hooks by the front or back door for school bags & coats, give your kids a set place to hang their stuff. A bin or shelf for shoes nearby helps too. After homework is done, have your child repack their bag so there’s no morning rush. Get up at your school schedule time and do a practice run a couple of days before the official start date and practice the afternoon routine as well. This will get the whole family in the back-to-school frame of mind and allow you to fine tune your a.m. and p.m. routines before the big day.
2. Create a Homework Area
The best way to encourage homework to be done promptly and without argument is to create an area dedicated to it. Whether it’s the kitchen table or the coffee table, wherever your child works best, make this the homework area. Consistency is key and having an assigned place for homework makes it easier to encourage good homework and study habits.
3. Set up a Calendar
The busier your family is, the more important it is to have a good calendar system. Post a large wall calendar (a small one with little space to write in each box one won’t do) and colour code entries by family members. Include school events, tests, project due dates, extracurricular activities, doctor appointments, etc. Then once a week (Sunday is a good day), transfer the events for the upcoming week to a calendar on your smartphone or tablet.
4. Stock Up on School Stationery & Supplies
Stock up now, so you don't run short when that crucial project or artwork is needed by the kids. Nothing worse than not having the right materials to get the homework done.
5. Create a Paper Filing & Management System
Although it’s tempting, you shouldn’t keep every single paper your children gather. Hang on to just a couple a week – great drawings, funny writing assignments, or projects that they put lots of thought, effort, and personalization into, and toss the rest. Dedicate a small box or bin on a shelf for keepsake papers. For papers that need to be signed and sent back (with or without money), complete immediately and send back the next day so there’s no chance they’ll get lost. At year end, go back through the year’s papers, pull out what’s golden and let the rest go (there will be more next year!). Store what you keep in a box or slide into sleeve protectors in a binder and shelve it.