Monday, August 18, 2014

Queen of my Kingdom: Organizing Kids for School

It's Back To School Time. I dread the end of summer and the beginning of another year of craziness. I enjoy having the boys home and being able to interact with them more throughout the day. Working from home means during the summer, we can share more meals and have leisurely afternoons at the pool. But school is near and the calm peacefulness of summer will be left behind for the fast-paced marathon of school and sports, homework and bedtimes, carpools and drive-thru meals.

There is a brightside though. 

I use the fall as a re-organization time for the family. Those who know me personally call me the Organization Queen. (See my Holy Organization! pinterest board) I'm a firm believer in the old saying "a place for everything and everything in its place". I'm addicted to the Container Store - my heart actually skips a beat when I enter! And my favorite household item just might be my label maker. So, you can understand why the brightside of the fall is getting organized again.

Basic school organization for my family begins with BINDERS for each of my sons. These binders are cleaned out at the end of the previous school year so that each year, they are refreshed to include the new school year information. Calendars, school or class newsletters, important forms and sports schedules are included along with any important test papers, etc. Add tabs to keep everything sorted inside the binder.

When the boys come home from school each afternoon, they put any papers I need to see in a pile near their binders. While I'm preparing dinner, I'll sort through to review everything, toss waste and file important items in their binders. I can't count how many times another mom has called and I've put my finger on what they need in seconds because it was in my binders.

Don't forget the HOOKS. In the mud room are three hooks for the boys to hang their backpacks. This is essential to keep from having messy bags all over the house. Plus, the next morning, they know where to find their bag for school.

Include a dry erase board above each hook with each child's own activities so they can keep track of their specials in school that don't happen every day (library, art, music, etc) and also their evening schedule. Sometimes it's helpful to include reminders they can look at before heading off to school too.

Now that my sons are getting older, we've also upgraded to Google calendars. I've started each of the teenagers with an account and created a calendar for them. I shared all of our calendars so we can see the entire family on one calendar, each a different color. Don't even get me started on my love for all things color coded!? Since they have smart phones, our family schedule is always available to them and means they have some control of their calendar as well and start to feel a bit more independence. I also make sure that its easily accessible on the family ipad that resides in the kitchen.

Aah... organized again and ready for another school year. How about you? Are you ready?

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