School is back in session! As you say goodbye to summer, you say hello to shorter autumn days filled with early morning alarm clocks, homework, school events and activities. Before you know it, the hectic holiday season will be upon you. It’s challenging to stay organized during the school year, but all you need is a plan and a little preparation to make it easier.
Below are some great tips to prepare you for the busy days ahead:
- Mark Your Calendar. Make a note of important dates, school events and activities like back-to-school nights. This is especially important if you have children in more than one school and need to juggle obligations.
- Make a Morning Schedule. Jot down the tasks you need to do before everyone has to be out the door: getting everyone dressed, eating breakfast, brushing teeth and hair, etc. Then decide how much time is needed to get ready in the morning. If you need to be out the door by 7:30 and you need an hour to get everyone ready, you should set your alarm for 6:15 (giving yourself 15 minutes to snooze).
- Lay Out Clothes the Night Before. This may not stop the argument on what your child wants to wear to school opposed to what they should wear to school, but at least you will get the argument out of the way at night and won’t derail your schedule in the morning… we hope.
- Find the Shoes The Night Before. “Where are my shoes?!” We’ve all been there. Frantically running around the house trying to find a pair of shoes isn’t fun and you can lose a good 15 minutes playing that game. Best thing to do is find those shoes before bedtime and leave them in a spot right by the door.
- Prepare Lunch the Night Before. We know this is harder than it sounds. You are exhausted from a long day, you’ve gotten the kids in bed, and all you want to do is sit on the couch and enjoy a little ‘me’ time… but you know you’ll regret it in the morning. Once you get a system down it does get easier and you can still get a little ‘me’ time, it’s a much smaller window of time… but you have to take what you can get.
- Designate an Area for Homework. Older children should have the option of studying in their room or a quiet area of the house. Younger children will usually need help with their homework or lose focus in the middle of it, so designating an area in the family room or kitchen is a good idea. Check out 15 School Homework Organizing Tips To Make Your Life Easier.
- Designate an Area for School Supplies. Create a spot for your children to place their school belongings, including backpacks, lunch boxes and extra supplies, as well as a place to put important letters and information sent home from the school. Try giving your kids the responsibility of emptying their backpacks and lunch boxes when they arrive home, and repacking their backpacks with the things they need for school the night before. Having them take on a responsibility and getting into a system will help to stay organized throughout the year.
- After School Review. Sit with your child and go over what they did in school and what was assigned for homework. Find out if they had any trouble in a particular area and review that with them. If you are unfamiliar with the subject reach out to your child’s teacher and make them aware that your child may need a little extra attention in this area. Some schools are actually required to offer private tutoring.
- Freeze Dinners. These days can get hectic quickly and you may not always have the time to prepare dinner, but ordering out can get costly and is not always the most nutritious option. Preparing meals over the weekend and freezing them can really save you time during the week. Check out 60+ Healthy Freezer Meal Recipes (+ All About Freezer Cooking) from the Thriving Home blog.
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