Back To School Organization: Routine
Keeping with our back-to-school organization mini-series for the month of August, let’s discuss getting our routine re-established with the kiddos.
Last week we talked about how to create a budget-friendly meal-plan to help stay organized, save time and money.
I don’t know about you but my family has to get an early start on getting back into the rhythm of our school schedule, so we started a few weeks ago. The school year doesn’t start up again here in Texas until the end of August.
We have to re-evaluate all of our schedules and incorporate new activities and agenda items for the upcoming year.
This year, we will be homeschooling our youngest, therefore, we will need to incorporate this new “busyness” into our schedule. Also, my Sunshyne, whose soon-to-be seventeen, will be taking on some leadership responsibilities in the band. That means we’ll need to make some additional adjustments.
You probably have just as much going on in your family, if not more.
Well, here are six tips that have helped me keep my sanity when all the hustle and bustle begins.
Get an early start on your back to school routine. Plan to get the kids back on their regular bedtime regimen and sleep schedule at least two weeks before school starts.
This will give you and the children a chance to adjust to their new sleeping pattern and assist in waking up on time. Start setting their alarm clock to wake them and pay attention to their response to it. Checking in to make sure that no one goes back to bed, or getting a few extra Z’s in the bathroom.
Establish a Schedule
Having your new schedule identified and ready to implement ahead of time is crucial. Do you need to change your wake up and bedtime to accommodate school? Do you have your schedule written out? Are you aware of the school start and tardy schedule? What about extra-curricular activities that your child will be participating in?
Additionally, meal planning for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinners for the week, bi-weekly, or monthly s a HUGE timesaver. This way you can stay on top of what you’ll be eating, shopping, and cooking. No more, “what do you want for dinner?” questions or scrambling to figure it out on the day of.
Establish Designated Areas
Have you prepared a space in the house for your children to place their things? If you have a mud room then it’s pretty obvious where your designated space is for little shoes and backpacks. However, if you don’t have a built-in space in your home, then you may want to create one. A simple basket or two should be sufficient. Of course, it can be much more elaborate if you choose.
Another consideration is a family command center. Even if you have limited space in your home, you can create a command center. It can be something as simple as a small dry-erase board or chalkboard that you and your family can write on to leave messages and the family schedule.
Lastly, where will the children be doing their homework? I personally like the idea of having younger children do their work around the dining/kitchen table. This helps them to focus better on the task at hand, knowing that you are only steps away. I also like the fact that I’m not running from room to room trying to assist with homework or check to see that its getting done.
Use Binders To Stay Organized
I love using binders to help me stay on top of what’s happening at my child’s school. Stay tuned for next weeks post on how to set up your children’s back to school binders.
Health and Physicals
Go ahead and schedule your children’s doctors and dental appointments. Many times you’ll need to show that your children are up to date on their immunizations unless your children are in their teens. Also, if your child is participating in any type of sport or other physical activities they will also need documentation from their doctor. You will be ahead of the game if you get these tasks done well ahead of time.
Since we are on the topic of health, let me just say that bedtimes are your best friend.
My husband and I have both always agreed on consistent bedtimes for all of our kids. Regularly scheduled bedtimes are not just for the toddlers and elementary-aged children either. Adolescents need just as much sleep as the younger children. Their bodies are still developing so giving them a regular bedtime would be beneficial.
My Sunshyne actually welcomes an early bedtime. With all of that marching in the hot Texas sun, she’s been know to ask to go to bed early.
Buying school clothes is always an exciting adventure, especially for teens. It can also be just as frustrating and expensive. It may be helpful to stick to a few set boundaries ago stay organized and to keep from going broke.
Set a spending limit for each child. I know you probably have a budget for school clothes stashed away in the reserves of your mind. So let’s make a formal proclamation of it and write it out. For your older kiddos, let them know your budget and that you’re sticking to it.
Sometimes sticking to a budget can be hard because you may find some great sales and super cute items that are difficult to pass up. Trust me when I say, there is ALWAYS a sale somewhere. There will ALWAYS be cute stuff. And don’t forget that back-to-school time is not the only time you can purchase clothes for your kids.
First, go through your child’s clothing and see what can still be worn for this coming school year. Items that are too small or too raggedy should be either donated, upcycled, or discarded. Jeans and shorts many times can still be worn at the beginning of the school year with a mix of new tops.
After you have gone through your child’s clothing and determined what can still be used, make a list of how many outfits you can make with what’s on hand. Then you can create your list of the new items that will be needed this coming year.
A few other tidbits that help us stay organized:
Parental Controls are another factor to consider now that the children are returning to school. Be sure that any new devices or programs have been screened and that you have set them up to your desired preferences. Along the same line, checking any emails social media outlets, and other online activities that your children participate in for any harmful activity.
Also, nowadays many of the schools have the children interacting with online software and programming that the children can access from home. Keep track of their school passwords and usernames for these programs in your child’s school binder.
Establish a regular means of communication with your child’s teacher. Smaller children will sometimes have a folder or a planner that you can send notes to the teacher. Another option is a texting app. Some teachers may be hesitant about giving their personal phone information to parents but third-party apps make it possible to communicate directly with your child’s teacher.
Establishing a new schedule can be a trial and error process. Give yourself and your family plenty of time to find your rhythm with it. Things may not go precisely as you have planned.
This is where grace is such a beautiful thing. Pray about your feelings and give that over to God. Then re-adjust your schedule.
I hope that you are finding this series helpful, please let me know in the comments. Also, don’t forget to sign up for your FREE
Blessings, and Happy Homemaking!