August has begun, which can only mean one thing…Back to School, at least here in the south! I can see the eyes rolling and hear the long, deep sighs from here. Last year was a zinger – challenging for students, parents, teachers and administrators everywhere. Hopefully, this school year will be a bit more typical, although I personally think there will be several carry-overs from virtual schooling that will reappear.
Whether last year was better than ever given the flexibility that came with virtual school or if it was a complete disaster, one thing we do know is that we can all begin with a fresh start and a clean slate. Looking for tips on how to make this year more successful? Then read on for some helpful advice.
Examine family morning and bedtime routines:
Are your mornings rushed? Begin setting out clothes, packing lunches, and making sure backpacks are zipped up and ready to go to school before going to bed.
Set bedtimes which are appropriate for your children’s ages, aiming for the recommended 8 or more hours per night. To assist with winding down and getting a good night’s sleep, set a technology curfew for 30 minutes prior to bedtime.
Create efficient dumping grounds and launching pads
Where should backpacks, sporting/band equipment be kept? Do you have a good place where coats and shoes get stored? If not, create a designated place for items that come in and go out of your home. Allow all family members to participate in deciding where this space should be and be sure to build in regular maintenance to make sure it doesn’t get too out of control.
Hold regular, weekly family meetings:
Set aside regular weekend time, ideally Sunday evenings, to review planners and the upcoming week. Clean out backpacks, purses, and briefcases as a family. Maintain homework areas and other parts of the house so you can start the week off on the right foot.
Utilize a color-coded family calendar:
Post a family calendar in a convenient location for all to see. Utilize a different color for each family member with an additional color for family events. Train your children to refer to the calendar so that all family members know when there are appointments after school, extracurricular activities, family events and the like to help plan accordingly.
Evaluate each child’s study spaces and ideal studying environments:
Some kids do better with frequent breaks, others plow through. Some kids concentrate better with music playing while others need complete silence. There are many different variables to consider, and virtual school and working from home tested households everywhere. Evaluate where each family member is most productive and ensure each space is set up with necessary supplies, chargers, etc.
Brainstorm ways to make quick, easy, and healthy meals and snacks
Protein is essential towards focus and energy. Have the entire family participate in brainstorming and menu planning. Make hard boiled eggs, cut up fruits and veggies, portion items into baggies on Sundays for grab and go during the week.
Set technology ground rules
Technology is here to stay and is a large part of both school and social lives. That being said, a family discussion on what is and isn’t allowed, the rules surrounding time limits, how technology will be monitored, what the kids can do to earn extra screen time, and laying out technology curfews are all topics that need to be very clearly laid out.
Decide how to best manage the papers, art and schoolwork
Thank goodness schools and teachers have gotten better with the amount of paperwork that gets sent home. However, for young students the artwork is still aplenty. Designate a place for school art and papers to go and then schedule regular time to go through and purge. Create a bin for the keepers which should be gone through again at the end of the year.
Make sure you have a system for papers that need to be reviewed, signed and returned.
Need more guidance? Both Put It There and Student Organizers of Atlanta are here to help your families with all of your organizing needs.
Student Organizers of Atlanta is pleased to announce we are holding 2 of our Back to School student workshops in August.
Saturday, August 14th and Sunday, August 22nd
Both sessions will be from 2:00pm to 4:00pm EDT on Zoom
Email me at email@example.com for additional information and visit www.thestudentorganizers.com to learn more about how we can help your children have their most successful school year yet!