Thursday, August 15, 2013

5 Tips to Make School Days Simpler & More Organized

It is hard to believe that it is already that time of year again - back to school.  Yes, I said it!  Back to school.  The summer has flown by and we had tons of fun but now I am getting back into 'school' mode.  I'm shopping for the supplies the kids will need to take with them for the classroom.  I'm thinking about packing lunches and most of all, I'm trying to figure out the best ways to get us organized and ease the transition into the school year.  These 5 tips to simplify the mornings and eliminate the back to school chaos work for me.

5 Tips to Make School Days Simpler & More Organized:

  1. Establish and write out your morning routine.
    • For me the thing that stresses me out the most in the mornings is repeating instructions I think the kids should already know.  But, in the morning when we're all groggy these seemingly simple tasks take on a life of their own and are often forgotten. Having a routine written out lets everyone check for themselves that they're getting everything done so there is little need for reminders.
  2. Pack bags the night before.
    • No more scrambling in the morning to search for that library book or that one elusive gym shoe.  By packing bags the night before (leaving room to toss in their lunch), everyone can breathe easier knowing that they haven't forgotten anything.
  3. Create a lunch schedule/menu.
    • Some kids are happy having the same lunch every day, some prefer variety.  Whichever way your child likes it, create a schedule of lunches or a menu that they can choose from the night before (or better yet - on the weekend, planning out the week and your groceries)  so that lunch making duty is simple.  No more trying to figure out what to pack, simply read from the list and get it done quickly.   This is also a great way to help transition kids into making their own lunches.
  4. Attach a tag to their bag outlining extra-curricular schedule.
    • Remembering what kids need to bring to school with them on what days can be daunting for even the most organized.  Use a luggage tag (see my sample here) to affix their extracurricular schedule to their backpacks.  This will provide a reminder to them when they are packing their bags in the evening.  
  5. Label everything!
    • I can't stress this enough.  Even with the variety of products out there it is amazing how many kids have the same items.  It is also mind boggling how kids can leave their things on the playground, in the lunchroom, on the soccer field and not realise until you prompt them for that water bottle, sweatshirt, lunch bag, etc.  By applying a personalized label on their items you can help them identify their stuff and you are far more likely to get them back.  See my story here of how it REALLY worked for us.
By implementing these tips from day 1 you will set the tone and create positive patterns of behaviour that will carry through the rest of the school year! Happy New School Year to all!

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