When I was a teacher, one of my favorite things to do at the beginning of each school year was to hand out apples to the parents at orientation. The apples had little notes on them that said, “An apple for the teacher is really nothing new. But here’s an apple for the parent because you’re a teacher too!”
With very few exceptions, the students who performed well at school, were the ones who had great support systems at home. It doesn’t take a lot of work, but I believe it takes consistency on the part of the parents. Here are my 2 biggest tips for an organized school year.
1. Plan for Transition Times
Transition times are when your kids get up each morning, when they get home from school, and when they go to bed. If you don’t plan out these times, it could be chaotic at your home.
Your child needs to know what you expect him to do at each of these times during the day. That way you won’t be repeating yourself over and over.
“You need to get dressed!”
“Did you finish your homework?”
“Where are your shoes?”
Create a list in order of the tasks that need to be done at each transition. Go over that list with your child a day or two before school starts. On the very first day of school walk your child through each step of the transition times.
You may have to do this for an entire week or two, but pretty soon your child will start following the routines without any prompting from you!
Depending on your child’s age you may want to use picture cards so they can see what to do. Display the cards on your child’s level so that he can refer to them when needed.These chore magnets* are super cute and there are boy and girl versions available!
Your list will probably be different depending on your child’s age/ability and family dynamics, but here are some examples:
- Wake up
- Get dressed
- Put on shoes
- Wash face
- Comb hair
- Eat breakfast
- Brush teeth
- Gather school bag and lunch
Get Home From School
- Put book bag in homework spot (see #2)
- Give papers to parent
- Eat a snack
- Play outside for 20 minutes
- Start homework
- Show finished work to parent
- Put finished homework and any papers that need to go back to school in the book bag
- Place book bag in designated spot near the front door
- Pack lunch
- Pick out entire outfit (even the socks and hair bow)
- Take a bath
- Finish with usual bedtime routine
2. Designate a Homework Spot
Choose a specific place in your home for your child to work on homework. It should be a surface that is free of clutter and mostly quiet and not busy with action. If your child is younger or not able to complete work on their own, make the homework spot somewhere that is easy for you to get to such as the dining room table or a small desk in the living room.
However, if your child is older and able to complete homework on his own, a desk in his bedroom may be the best location.
The homework spot should be stocked with the supplies your student needs in order to complete homework. This helps to make sure no time is wasted getting supplies together in order to start working on homework.The essentials would be pens and/or pencils, a pencil sharpener, and paper.
Your child may also need highlighters, a stapler, crayons, colored pencils, or a ruler. Make a list and be sure to have the needed items readily available.
August 8-15th you can purchase one course for $10 (normally $17) and receive the other course for only $7. That’s like getting one for free!
I wish you and your children the best this school year!
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