Well parents, it’s that time of year again: back-to-school. Every parent knows that means countless shopping trips for new supplies and clothes, and nagging about why summer has to end. But we’ve found some ways to make your life and your child’s life much easier as you both transition into the new school year. Read on to hear our tips and tricks for getting back into the groove of school!
SCHOOL SUPPLIES 101
To get your school supply shopping underway, the first step is to create a list. Usually, teachers will provide families with a list of necessities for the year, but don’t forget the very basics that often don’t show up on the list (pencils, erasers, highlighters, etc). While making your adding on to your list, reorganize the desks your kids will be using. This will give you a better sense of what you have and need, and allow your child to create a better studying space. Eileen Roth, speaker and author of Organizing for Dummies, says parents should “establish a place for excess supplies like pens/pencils, erasers, staples, where everyone can find what they need. Have extra paper, spirals and folders for students. Keep paper supplies on horizontal trays or in clear boxes.” A school wally is a fantastic tool to help keep your kids and your home organized during the school year.
The wally conveniently has compartments to fit papers, notebooks and folders for six subjects. It also includes slots for supplies and electronics, and has a handy whiteboard where kids can note their important activities. Carol Frazey from Fit School Inc. encourages parents to “start a family calendar. Have each person write-in his/her activities, meetings, sports and activity practices, and appointments on ONE calendar centrally located in your home” (check out Fit School’s informative site www.TheFitSchool.com). If you have a calendar but still feel like you can’t keep track of the day’s activities (it can be tough, we know), try a 2do Memo Board.
The board is divided into four functional sections: a whiteboard for tasks on your mind, a chalkboard for lists, two cork boards with slots to organize your contacts, and quick-hang lines for invitations, cards, and other pleasant “etceteras.” Finally, one of the easiest and most important things to do before school is research. Jane Bailey, Dean of the School of Education at Post University, says, “Take a look at your school or district’s website and hunt for information about your child’s new curriculum. Look for the ‘big picture’ learnings ahead. For example: the big part of first grade is learning to read.”
Parents, don’t think that you’re off the hook once you nail down all those school supplies. The next step is getting your child out of bed at 7 a.m. and in the car on-time. We’ve found some ways to help ease your child back into the school day routine one step at a time. Jane Bailey suggests to “start setting the alarm clock earlier in the morning and ease into an earlier bedtime routine.” She also says, “Buy your child a journal to write about his/her ‘Adventures in 3rd Grade.’ Have him/her start the diary now and write about the end of summer activities, and encourage your child to write how she/he is feeling about the school year ahead.” Give your child a kids desktop organizerto help them keep everything they need for the school day right at hand. Packing up for the day is made simple with this foldable, totable organizer that fits in a backpack. We promise your child will be out the door in no time!
Candi Wingate, President of Nannies4Hire (http://www.nannies4hire.com/index.asp), also tells us that “if your kids are transitioning to a new school building, visit the school building with your kids. If your schedule permits, volunteer to help out in your kids’ classrooms. (Before you volunteer, ask your kids how they’d feel if you did this).” These easy steps will reduce back-to-school anxiety for your child and leave you feeling relieved.
Finally, take some photos of your little ones growing up and entering a new grade.With a keepsake keeper, you can file, sort and save your most prized memories, like your child’s first day of high school. Keep taking photos throughout the year and look back at them next summer with your child for a treat you’ll both enjoy!
For more information about products and ordering, visit www.greatusefulstuff.com.