Everyone likes to start off the school year on the right foot…but it’s harder to stay on that foot. Here’s how you can.
Create a Homework Station
This space should include a quiet space with all supplies at hand to do homework. If you can’t figure out a specific place, and you do homework in a communal area, make a caddy that you can bring to the table. You can use a shower caddy, makeup organizer, desk organizer, or any other type of “holder” that can contain your homework supplies.
Things to include in a homework station or caddy:
-printer and paper
-headphones (if you’re working with multiple kids)
-a good eraser
Make a File for Each Child
Each child should have a magazine file holder dedicated to their stuff. Label each one for each child. These holders are to hold all their flashcards, review books, and schoolwork that needs to stay at home, etc. Aren’t you always searching for those items? Place at the homework station.
Make a Mommy Command Center
If your kids have a station, so should you! Your mommy command center should be in an area of your home where you spend a lot of time. It could be a drawer, cabinet, or if you can pull this off, a desk. Everything to run your house and keep your family on track should be out of this space!
Mommy command centers should include office supplies, calendars, phones, envelopes, stamps, packing tape (for returns), and wherever else you think you need to run your home (and everything and everyone in it).
Start Meal Planning
Coming up with lunch and supper ideas is such a struggle. I know we don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but sometimes the wheels get a little squeaky. Surf the net, or trade ideas with friends for lunch and dinner ideas (click here for BCP’s Dinner Done list!). Plan your week with your list of ideas! Planning ahead will save you money, aggravation, and time. Jot down your week’s menu in your planner. (Don’t have a planner? Get one here).
Buy a Planner
I am a big fan of the planner. Nothin’ beats the ol’ pen and paper method. When you see it in front of you, it gives you such a great visual of what the upcoming days will bring. Try putting your meal planning into your planner. Have fun inserting birthdays and your school calendar in it. Planner stickers make the dates pop out and it’s always fun to personalize things!
Make Appointments Now
Did you get your school calendar? Then you know which days your children have off of school in the upcoming months. Make your doctors, orthodontists, and dentists appointments for those days while their schedules are still open and you can choose the days and times that are the most convenient for you, deep into fall and winter. Wait until a week before to make that appointment you’ll be locked out! If you usually hire tutor help for your children, now is also a good time to book them so you also get the best time slots.
Clothes Shopping & Outfit Planning
If your children wear uniforms, then apply this advice to weekend outfits and accessories. So often, “outfit planning” is a job, especially if you have teens. Take pictures of certain outfits, complete with accessories, and create a lookbook, so your child doesn’t say, “I don’t know what to wear” or “I don’t know what goes with what.”
While shopping for clothing, make sure you have outfits. So often, we buy things we love and end up with a lonely shirt. Create a section in your closet of outfits for the entire week. I love those hanging weekday outfit organizers! Ditch or return clothing asap that your child refuses to wear…even if you love it.
Invest in an Art Portfolio
You can find art portfolios at The Container Store and on Amazon. Any time your child comes home with something worth saving, slip it into the portfolio. My kids love looking at theirs every so often. Saving every project doesn’t make the ones you saved special! Be selective so you end up with a meaningful book.
Designate a Launch Pad
In the morning, your kids should have one spot where they know everything is. Their backpacks, lunch boxes or anything else that they need to take with them to school should all be in this one spot. No “show and tell” toy left behind!
Find Out the Work for the Upcoming Year
If you have a friend whose kid is in the grade above or someone in the school you can talk to, find out what is expected of your child for the upcoming grade. Get a jump start!