It's August and you and your kids are counting down the days until school begins again. Start the year off right with some easy steps to prepare for the first day. A little preparation goes a long way throughout the school year.
It is time to schedule all those back to school doctor, dental and eye glass appointments. It can take up to 2 weeks so call now for the best time. Many athletic departments require physicals and it is important to have an updated immunization record. Be proactive and get these dates on your calendar. Remember to get an extra copy for your files too! Schedule other groom essentials like haircuts and more too.
Before the new year avalanche of paper starts, take the last year's artwork and corral it. Using a Fed Ex Box large box, save only the "precious" items to store in the top of a closet. Label the box by year (1st grade or 2009-2010). Now you are ready for this year's art.
Set up your command center for action papers. Your command center holds all the very important action papers, including bills, kids papers from school and other papers requiring an action. Add sections for papers that will be pending and filed. Each day open your mail at this station, recycle junk mail, shred potential identity theft papers and bring catalogs and magazines to a reading spot. By creating a specific work station for these papers, you are ready to act on them with an hour of weekly administrative time.
Clean out your kids' closets before you shop for back to school gear. Only keep what is fitting or a little larger. Keep some warm weather attire for the beginning days of school. When it comes to creating a system for storing the clothes, have your kids partner with you to create what works. Kids can maintain their closets or drawers if they are in reach and they have a good routine for this. Have a laundry basket in everyone's room to collect dirty and redistribute clean clothes too.
The first few weeks of school are all about refreshing skills and concepts. Do your kids need a little routine for the last few weeks of summer? Skill building books and free online computer games are available for writing, math and problem solving. Make it fun with stickers and rewards for accomplishing and completing pages.
Morning and Evening Routines
The hardest part of getting back to school is getting back to the morning routine. Two weeks before school begins, start having earlier bedtimes and wake up calls. You can inch back bedtime for half an hour earlier each week until the week before school starts you are setting the routines in motion. Practice getting up with an alarm too. Hold your family meeting to review what works best each morning and evening during the school year. Set in motion an evening routine where backpacks are ready at the backdoor the night before, clothes are laid out and everyone feels ready for the next day.
Make this your best school year yet by chatting with your family about their expectations and more. Go around the table and ask each person to talk about what they want to accomplish this year. Ask how each family member can assist another, in partnering about tests, sharing responsibilities or other aspects. Create a team in making each person's academic goals come true!
Ellen R. Delap, CPO®