When you think of back to school the common things that come to mind are school supplies, new clothes & shoes, haircuts and lunchboxes. But to set the stage for a successful school year, bedrooms and study spaces need to be well organized and equipped with the necessities.
Nickie Sears-Schroeder of Peaceful Nooks and Crannies suggests going through the kid's closets and drawers to eliminate what no longer fits to help them dress efficiently. Inventory the school supplies at home to ensure you have the essentials to avoid a run to the store after dinner when kids seem to remember forgotten assignments.
Establish a pick up and drop off place in your home for book bags, lunchboxes, shoes and jackets. Having everything in one place saves an enormous amount of time in the mornings when time is of the essence.
As for the Chief Organizing Officer (COO) of the household, keep a family calendar visible where all the family members can see and keep up. Kids should be encouraged to note important tests and quizzes to better manage extra curricular activities. With today's technology, Google calendars is a nice backup allowing the family to synchronize schedules. But, I still like the calendar in the kitchen for an easy reference, I am old-school.
It is never too early to encourage independence. Kids can pack their own lunches, and keep their rooms and study spaces tidy. It is important too that the students receive progress report emails and stay in touch with thier grades to address missing work and status of their class performance. Have the kids take responsibility of their own work and be accountable. These are very important skills to develop as they advance to high school and go on to college.
As a parent, set your students up for success. Create a calm environment one that has measures in place to maintain organization to minimize chaos. Give them the tools they need to perform well. An organized bedroom, a well stocked study space and encourage good practices to keep items for school in a designated spot. Eliminate distractions in study spaces - video games, televisions and if possible computers to some degree, facebook is a tempting alternative to doing homework.
The key to a well run household that is a supportive learning environment is organization. If you need help gaining control over clutter and mayhem, call in a professional organizer such as Nickie Sears-Schoeder. She can assist in regaining control of your home and help you establish a maintenance plan for a successful school year.