This week we turned the calendar to August and in my world that means back to school time! Now, some of you may be cheering for back to school, while others are crying. I have mixed feelings.
I love summer and everything about it. I love the long, carefree days of sunshine and warm weather, colorful flowers, fresh vegetables, vacations, and most of all, time spent with family and friends.
At this time every year, after I have turned that calendar to August, I find that I begin to enjoy that little chill in the mornings. I also begin to crave a little more structure in my days. I miss my co-workers and think about the new little friends, who I will spend my days with. I begin to miss school. Yes, it might be time to think about heading back to school.
Now, it does take time to gradually get yourself and your children back into a school schedule. For some ideas on how to help transition your child back to school, please see my post Eight Ways to Help Your Child Ease Back to School .
As you are transitioning your child, it is also a great time to get organized for the upcoming school year, while growing your child’s confidence. It’s a time of new beginnings. A little time invested in getting organized now will definitely help with a smooth transition. Here are ten tried and true ideas for back to school organization, while encouraging independence.
- Purchase school supplies early. Check with your child’s school to see what he/she needs for the school year. If possible, get those supplies early when they are plentiful and not picked over.
- Color code school supplies. This is very helpful for my children, as well as my students. I like to use solid colored folders and notebooks. Perhaps green is science, while blue may be used for math. Have your child help choose their colors and label their things. That way, they have some ownership over their things.
- Have your child make a Take Home Folder. Go ahead and let your child get that cute puppy folder or that MLB folder. If all of the other folders are plain colors, this one will be easy to find. Then, label one pocket: Papers to Stay at Home and the other pocket: Papers to be Returned to School. This will help your child stay organized at school.
- Fill in your planner and/or calendar. Take some time to put the events of your child’s school calendar into your calendar. Those half days, professional development days, and holidays sneak up quickly on all of us. Having dates marked in your calendar ahead of time will help you be able to plan for those adjustments in schedules.
- As soon as you know the specifics for your child’s schedule, add those into your calendar. That way, sneakers won’t be forgotten on PE day or a smock left at home on Art day.
- If your child has a planner, take some time to model and teach him/her how to use it. Encourage writing in assignments, schedules, and special events.
- Lay out outfits the night before. We’ve all had that “I have nothing to wear” panic. It happens with our children too. Having them choose their outfits and laying their clothes out the night before can make your mornings go smoother.
- Have your child pack their backpacks the night before. Packing backpacks the night before will prevent children from forgetting their folders, homework, or library books. If they leave for school feeling confident and ready, they will be on their way to a great day!
- Try to have your child prepare lunches and snacks the night before. I am guilty of not always doing this as I like the kids to have fresh fruit, sandwiches, and sometimes warm soup for winter. It definitely helps to prep food the night before for a smoother morning.
- Get your pantry stocked with healthy packaged snacks that your child can help themselves to. This will help encourage independence. I know that I will be making a trip to Costco soon! 🙂
What are your thoughts about getting organized for back to school? I would love to hear your ideas and tips!
Best wishes for a wonderful start of the school year!