It’s that time! Back to school is here! That can mean a scramble in routines, new places to be, early mornings, and lots of paperwork. Let’s prepare for what could be a chaotic time!
– Create a Command Center: Dedicate an area of your home for a “command center” set up with a family calendar, a place for class/sport forms, filing system, and supplies. You can display the calendar so all family members can see the schedule, and make sure to keep it up to date. All family members should be familiar with the space in order to develop a healthy habit of using it properly. You can create a chart for each child to show what they need each day of the week. It can become their responsibility to remember their items (Example: Monday – sneakers, Tuesday – violin, etc.) You can create a “grab-and-go” form system for easy pickup in the morning.
– Organize Clothes/Closets: Start in one closet or dresser and continue throughout your house to store, donate, and toss clothing. All the clothing that fits should be accessible to the children. Work with them to organize their clothes so they know where everything belongs and can easily get themselves dressed. Inventory the clothes before heading out for back to school shopping. To help ease the morning rush, you can set the clothes out the night before.
– Build Routines from the Beginning: You have to be consistent. Sure, some days there will be hiccups and it’ll never be perfect, but in order for your routines to build, you have to be consistent. Some of these routines include…
- where to place forms
- when/where the kids should complete homework
- how/when to have after school snacks
- when will you make lunches
- when do the kids play outside
- what time should they clean up their toys/room
- where do they place laundry
– Prep for the Morning Hustle: Prep the night before as much as you can. Have homework, forms, lunch, clothes, shoes, backpacks all in place. Start the year off right by building the routine from the beginning so the kids can take over as much as possible. The more the kids can do, the better! You can practice leaving the house in the morning before the big day.
– Prep Food: Consider what the kids will eat for breakfast, lunch, after school snack, and dinner. What makes it the easiest to prep them — prepare and freeze lunch sandwiches for grab-and-go in the morning? How can the kids access the food? You can place their designated snacks in a drawer or basket. If it helps you can set out the breakfast cups, bowls, spoons the night before for a quick morning breakfast. Another trick: scramble some eggs the night before and reheat in the morning ; )
– Establish Household Systems: Consider your week and plan what day you will go grocery shopping, run the laundry, clean the house, file the mail, etc.
– Say No: Consider how much you can handle, along with your kids and where you need to be each day. If it’s too much for your child to be a part of that after school club, don’t be afraid to say no.
If the year starts off rocky, just know it will get smoother. Take a deep breath, determine where you’re having difficulty, and consider how it can run smoother. You got this!
What’s your favorite way to prepare for back to school?
Happy New School Year!