back to school

5 Tips for the Back to School Routine

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One thing I love about a new school year is, it’s new. We begin the year with all As, we get fresh notebooks, new teachers, and get to start again. It’s also a great time to adopt a few new habits surrounding the school routine to help stay on top of the schedule, the clutter, the schoolwork, and to encourage your kids to have their best year yet. We’ve compiled a few tips to get your year off on the right foot!


5 Tips to Streamline the Back to School Routine!


Image:  Magnolia

Image: Magnolia

1 . An Established Landing Space

This will look different in every home, entirely dependent on your home’s layout. This is an area that should be relatively close to the entry and exit point used each morning. Landing spaces can be useful to collect bookbags and store to-do baskets. Think of this as the command center of the morning on the way out the door. Check out this blog by Joanna Gaines for tips on how locker baskets can be used in your landing space!

 

2 . Routine Checklists for the Littles

Printable checklists ( laminated or put behind a glass for use with a dry erase ) can be so helpful to guide littles along their new morning routines, this gives them a sense of ownership of their morning and you can still be directly involved to keep them on track.


*We’ve created these two printable options as a framework to your morning routine!

 

3. Streamlined Schedules for the Big Kids

For kiddos that aren’t exactly kiddos anymore, a virtual approach could keep the entire family on board the same ship! Google calendar app can be a great option for synchronizing sports schedules, events, and the heavier after school schedule that the teen sports/club years can come with.

Another option is a centralized large chalkboard or dry erase calendar in the home. This is a great addition to the landing space or command center and can be a great reminder when headed in or out the door each day. There are definitely pros and cons to each calendaring options, find what works best for your people.

 

4 . Art & Schoolwork Management

A great habit to adopt for school work brought home is “touch it once!” If the assignment is a worksheet or test from class that has no emotional connection to your child, and your child is ready to let go, after acknowledgment of their efforts and skill they now have by doing the practice, it goes to the recycle bin immediately.
As for artwork, a great rule of thumb for what to keep is to see if you can see the unique work of your own child in each piece. Once that decision is made, a clear Rubbermaid tote with your child’s name and school year(s) can be used if originals want to be kept.
Another option we love is ARTKIVE. ARTKIVE lets you send in all the originals to be professionally photographed and bound into a hardback book or a framed piece!

 

5 . Designated Homework Areas

This can be such a stress reliever in many ways encouraging productivity, organization, and quality of work. Establishing a homework zone can communicate the same thing to a child as “going to the office” can for an adult. You set the tone for their work flow and focus by designating study areas. This can be as simple as a lazy susan with cups of supplies easily moved to the middle of a table, or as established as a study nook in the home. Wherever the investment, the reward will be worth it!  

Let's school this...

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Such a bittersweet time of summer for all the mamas and papas of school-age kids out there. It's gone by so fast in some ways and in others, we cannot wait to get back into the rhythm of school. We totally get it. In an effort to make the next couple weeks move in the right direction with the least amount of stress, we've put together a few ways to get yourself and your kids ready to roll come that first day of school.

1. Get online and find the supply list.... today!
Most schools now post these on school websites, school Facebook pages/groups, etc.
And in Tennessee, this upcoming weekend, July 28-30 is tax-free weekend! While on the school website, check for meet-the-teacher dates and orientations too!

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2. Pull backpacks, lunch boxes, water bottles, and lunch box containers out now to assess their status. Lots of these items are already on sale during the "back to school" season and can be great to purchase on tax-free weekend if needed.

3. Spend 15-20 minutes with your child in their room and take a quick assessment of clothes for the early fall and shoes. So often our kids are in sandals or barefoot all summer and we don't realize they've outgrown all their close-toed shoes, which many schools require kids to wear.

4. If you haven't already, be sure your kids immunizations are up to date. Most pediatricians and family physicians know what is required for each school in your area. If you're not sure, you can always call the school to confirm.

5. Take your kiddo(s) on a "date" sometime between now and the first day of school. Try to be intentional with them and give them the opportunity to talk about what they're looking forward to in the upcoming year and what they may be anxious about. This 1-2 hours could mean the world to them as you prepare as a family for what lies ahead.

It's not rocket science to get our kids ready to get back in the classroom but it is good to have a few reminders, especially for us who have older school-age kids and might be slippin' a bit (like me :).
Hope this list helps you and if you have any tips to share, we'd love to hear them and so would our readers! Comment below...

The Quick List for Back-to-School Organization

Here in Knoxville, the start of school is just over a week away for most of us. It's time to plan, shop, and prepare for another year of learning and growing. To start off the school year right, HYD wanted to share a few tips that can help make the transition more simple and efficient.

1. School Supplies

  • Obtain your child's class supply list from his/her school as soon as possible.
  • Take advantage of Tennessee's tax-free weekend August 7-9
  • Wait for discounts on items like clothing, electronics, and shoes that typically drop in price around mid-August
  • For eco-friendly options, check out MightyNest and earn money for your school while you shop.

2. Ease into School Routine

  • These last weekdays before school begins, begin waking late sleepers up a bit earlier and re-introduce school year bedtime.
  • Keep snacks readily available for kids throughout afternoon as meal times during school may differ from summer eating routines. Real Simple has a great list of snack options.
  • Remind your kids what you expect from them in their morning routine and after-school routine so they know what they're responsible for. Here is a checklist HYD likes.

3. Calendar Prep

  • Find your school's or your school system's calendar for the year and place all important dates including holidays, in-services, half-days, and report card days on your personal calendar now.
  • Create a central calendar the whole family can see with school and after school activities using a paper or whiteboard so it's easy to read and adjust like this one.

4. Prepare for Paper Piles

  • Make an effort from day one of school to fill out each form as you get them, place them back in your child's folder, and back to school before it gets lost in a pile.
  • Create a system for keeping art or school work that allows you to discard all other items the day they enter your home. In other words, go through folders each afternoon/evening, look at each piece of work, if it is an original that you would've liked to have seen as you looked back to that age and you have no other like it, keep it. Otherwise, recycle it.

5. Teacher(s) Support

  • Try not to miss any opportunity to meet your child's teacher or teachers. If you're not able to meet in person, reach out with an email to introduce yourself and offer help to make the school year successful. This is invaluable to both your child and his/her teacher. Teachers need our support, encouragement, and helpful knowledge that only we can give them about our child.

Help You Dwell wishes you and your family a safe and successful 2015-2016 school year!