After an entire summer off, heading back to school can be a tough transition. Changes that you start making now can make the process easier for you and your children. Try some of these ideas:
Adjust their sleep schedules: Take the next few weeks to slowly get everyone used to going to bed and getting up earlier, until your family is on the school schedule.
Start a breakfast habit: Studies show that children who start school with a good breakfast, including a combination of protein and good carbohydrates such as fruit, stay focused and do better in school. Experiment with different breakfasts until you have a menu of choices that everyone enjoys.
Make space for homework: If you haven’t done this already, set aside a place for every child to organize their books and assignments. If you have one of the Fulton drop centers, it provides a perfect place to set up everything needed for the next day so nothing is forgotten in the morning. As children get older, desks and file cabinets in their rooms provide a central place to track schoolwork. A calendar – either paper or on a computer or tablet – can help them track when assignments are due.
Build a reference library: Although you can find many resources online, having a dictionary, thesaurus and grammar handbook handy encourages your children to look things up as needed. If you know what books they’ll be reading in school, you might want to pick up some of them so they are ready when needed.
Plan an end of summer event: A party or family gathering to wrap up the summer can help prepare everyone for the upcoming change. You could have some fun school supplies as favors and backpacks ready to fill. This will encourage everyone to look forward to the start of school, not just the parents.
Are your children well prepared as they start school or are you dealing with missing assignments and notebooks that seem to disappear every morning?
You can help your children stay organized for school by setting up personalized “lockers” at home. These can range from space on a bookshelf to storage containers or bins. Even a small file cabinet would work. By making sure school materials have an assigned place, getting ready in the morning will be less stressful. Here are a few hints to make this work.
Choose a good location. Your children are more likely to use the assigned space if they pass it as they walk into the house. Find space near the front door or inside by the kitchen and label each child’s bin or area so there are no arguments. It’s OK if they just dump their books and papers inside. At least they’re all in one place.
Have one bin for school supplies. This makes it easy for everyone to stay stocked up.
Make sure the spaces are large enough. If your kids run out of room, the overflow may end up on the floor or a counter near-by, which defeats the purpose. Remember that they will accumulate more materials as the school year continues. You may need two bins eventually – one for current work and the other an archive for past notes and papers.
Leave a treat in each child’s assigned spot for the first few weeks. A mini candy bar or a small toy rewards your children for putting their school materials away. Be creative to keep it surprising and exciting. After three weeks – the time it takes to make or break a habit – move to occasional treats.
Have a clean-up day once a month. This gives everyone the chance to get rid of papers or notes that they will no longer need or move some things to the archive bin, keeping the current bin under control.
Why not try this approach? With just a few steps, you can reduce the tension of tracking down school materials and make the school year easier and more organized.