The following blog post originally appeared on Scarsdale10583.com
School is back in session and children everywhere are settling into a new academic year with enthusiasm and hope. Start the school year off right by establishing a routine that will ease household tension and prevent mishaps like forgotten lunches and homework. Below are organizing suggestions from professional organizer and Scarsdale resident Jocelyn Kenner to keep the positive momentum going and the school year running smoothly.
Night Before Preparation
Do as much as you can the night before to set-up for the next school day. The following suggestions help mornings run smoothly and reduce last minute conflicts and panic.
- Part of your child’s nightly homework routine should include packing his backpack with everything he needs for the next school day (i.e. completed homework, permission slip, gym uniform, extra pencils, etc.) I call this making the backpack “grab and go ready!”
- Pack lunches the night before
- Check the weather for the next day and lay out appropriate clothes. Some young children enjoy dressing an invisible twin on their bedroom floor with the clothes all laid out in the shape of a child.
- Review the next day’s schedule with your family (i.e. Jason has a piano lesson, Diana has dance class, mom has an evening meeting). Talking through theses upcoming events keeps family members connected and informed, and eases anxiety.
With your child designate an easy to reach location that’s on the way out the door as your family “launch pad”. The launch pad is the spot where ALL things needed for the next day are placed (i.e. “grab and go ready” backpack, violin for lesson, baseball glove for practice, etc.) Be consistent with the location of your “launch pad” so family members can count on this spot for placing and finding their important items.
Document everyone’s schedule and appointments on one visible calendar. Keep the calendar in a central location so all family members can view it easily. Assign each family member a color to enhance visual cues and write their appointments in that color (Jason is blue, Diana is purple, mom is green, etc.)
School Supply Center
Keep extra school supplies well stocked in ONE location for easy access so children can independently refill pencil cases, backpacks, or find supplies for completing homework assignments, projects, and reports. Some supplies to keep on hand are: #2 pencils, pens, highlighters, notebook paper, post-it notes, pocket folders, ruler, scissor, stapler, 3-hole punch, markers, tape, poster board, erasers, correction fluid, and report covers.