The first day of school is either upon us or just around the corner. Are you and your kids ready for a new school year? Here are a few of our favorite back to school organizing tips:
Cut the Clutter
Have a clear work space for your children. This helps minimize distraction and helps kids find what they need quickly.
Cutting the clutter in the coat closet, mud-room, entry way or garage can clear space for fall/winter outerwear, as well as a spot for backpacks, activity bags and sports equipment.
Revel in Routine
Have a consistent time and place to study and do school work when possible. Homework time should be honored and used daily. A quiet, clutter free work environment will allow your student to work free of distraction and focus on the task at hand.
A consistant bed time and waking time can also ensure that your budding Einstein gets the sleep they need to soak up the knowledge that each school day has to offer.
Routines let everyone involved know what to expect and what to count on. They can help reduce stress and consistancy can be a key in establishing new good habits.
Create a Place for Everything
There should be a spot for homework coming in, homework going back, papers to be kept, school supplies to have on hand, activity or sports related equipment, etc.
Also important is a consistent place for kids to put papers for parents to see or sign. Create a landing zone for kids to hang up their backpack, put their lunch box, take off their shoes and their coat. If your child knows exactly where his or her things go, this will eliminate some of the work for you. Additionally, when they know where to put and find things in their room and in the home, they are better able to help themselves and you’ll hear less of “Mom, I can’t find my ….”.
Have a Paper Management System
For students in middle school and beyond who deal with multiple classes and multiple teachers, keeping papers until a grading period is completed and grades are received can be helpful for two reasons. First, it creates a place for putting papers that the student may want to refer to or study for a unit test, or end-of -course test, so that they don’t have to carry them at all times in their binder all semester. Secondly, it creates a “back-up” system in case a teacher makes an error in the grade book. For example, if a teacher does not have a grade recorded for a particular assignment, and the student has kept the graded assignment for that grading period and can produce it, it could affect their grade positively.
The method for storing competed papers and notes could range from a box where completed papers are tossed, to a simple filing system where things are divided by subject, to a more complex filing system where papers are sorted by subject, and then sub-divided by month or unit, etc.
We hope this provides you with a few new ideas for this upcoming school year. If you would like to learn more about how to Organize for School Success, check out our October 7th “Organizing for School Success” workshop. We would love to see you there!