Getting organized for the new school year can sometimes seem like a daunting task. With your child’s backpack bursting with permission slips and forms to fill out, getting organized is one of the most important things to do to start the school year off right.
Although getting and staying organized might seem impossible, we have some tips to help get you and your child organized and ready to go back to school.
Find a Routine
Getting into a routine can be the first and most important step in getting organized. Making sure that you have not only an evening routine, but a morning and afternoon routine can help keep everything and everyone organized. According to Dr. Peter Gorski of the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County and USF, you should expect your child to behave or feel differently after the first few days or week of the school year, but you should still try to re-establish routines.
It is important to make sure that your kids are getting enough sleep and that they are following an evening and bedtime routine. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that school age children get at least 9 hours of rest a night, some kids even need 11 hours. This will keep them alert and will help them be able to remember tasks they need to do. Having them do their homework, pick out their clothes, and taking at least an hour to wind down are all parts of your evening routine that will help cut down on the stress and pressure of the morning.
The morning is usually one of the most hectic times of day when it is easiest to become disorganized. Making sure your kids pick out the clothes the night before and giving them the freedom to make their own breakfast will help you stay on top of things. You should also make sure that they have gotten their backpacks ready the night before so that they aren’t scrambling to find their homework or other papers.
Create a System
One way to help keep your kids organized is to create a school space at home. KidsHealth.org suggests creating a space for your child to do their homework that is quiet and free of distractions. Not only will this help your kids to finish their homework during their afternoon routine, but it will keep your kids from spreading their homework around the house and potentially losing important information.
Another benefit of this at home school work space is that your kids will have a place where they can leave permission slips and graded tests that you might need to sign off on. Creating a system is important, so make sure that your kids know where they should leave these forms and make sure that you actually are looking there for these forms. Once you have signed them, put them back in your child’s backpack to stay organized and prevent losing loose papers.
It is also helpful to keep a family calendar. Make sure that any after school activities they are taking part in is marked on the calendar to help you arrange rides, and make sure that your kids write reminders for test days. This will help everyone stay on the same page.
Show Your Kids How to Organize
One important factor in the back to school season is making sure that your kids understand how to do things themselves. Make sure that they understand why they need to stay organized. If they know how confusing and messy things can get if they don’t help you organize they are more likely to help stay organized.
Show them how to properly pack their backpack and teach them about keeping their binders and notebooks organized. It is a great idea to get your kids dividers for their binders and color coded index cards to help them remember to stay organized and to make it a little easier for them.
Another great thing to do is to get your kids a planner. Put them in control of their schedules and teach them how to record things like project due dates and homework so that they can feel like they are in the driver’s seat. This will also help them keep their routine, which is a plus. It can be helpful to give your kids their own alarm clocks as well, and show them how to set them so that they can help themselves stay organized. According to Baycare, routines and organization will help ease your child’s anxiety and boost their confidence.
Going back to school can be an exciting time, and if you can get your kids into the habit of staying organized, the school year will go by much more easily.
For more tips on back to school shopping or advice on getting your kids ready for back to school, visit TampaBayParenting.com