The days are long but the years fly by! We have busy schedules and that's ok! Lets make them run as smooth as possible! Here are a few tips to master organization during the school year.
1. A weekly calendar is a life saver! Keeping the entire family's activities on one calendar allows everyone to know what each individual has to prepare for. I recommend using a color system: each member is assigned a color, which makes it easier to decipher when taking a quick look at the calendar.
2. After a full day, we all need to unwind. Take the first 10 minutes to read that text message or answer an email, pour a cup of tea, light a candle or read the daily newspaper.
Children may want to play a video game, check instagram or watch a bit of TV.
3. Empty children's’ school bags immediately upon entering the home, looking for permission slips to be signed and important information of upcoming events.
Parents, empty your bags as well, restocking items as needed.
4. Fix a healthy snack to keep the kids satisfied until supper.
A few options:
Apples and peanut butter
Veggies and dip
Ham and cheese roll-ups
5. Set timers for chores and homework. We all have tasks we don’t want to tackle, but when we know there is a time limit, we are more willing to get to work knowing when the timer sounds, we get a much needed break for a bit before finishing the task.
6. Keep supper simple by fixing foods you know your family likes and limit the menu. Too many choices makes us feel overwhelmed. The best way to know what your family likes is to ask them!
7. Clean up the supper mess immediately after eating. Load and run the dishwasher each night, emptying it each morning. This is an enormous time-saver! FYI-the average cost to run the dishwasher is less than $.50 per time! So worth it!
8. Begin the bedtime routine immediately after supper before you and the children are tired. Brushing teeth right after supper also keeps us from wanting to snack.
9. Pack lunches the night before or very first thing in the morning. Using the same containers for each child and particular foods, makes the packing process so much easier!
10. Lay out clothes the night before. Checking the weather each day is important this time of year as the temp is very unpredictable.
11. Spend 15 minutes alone with each child each day. Do an activity you and your child enjoy: play catch, color, draw, or play a board game. This allows each child a little one-on-one with the parent or parents to be heard and understood. This is a perfect opportunity to allow a child to open up and share insight to what thoughts and concerns he or she may be having.
12. Baskets and/or lockers by the back door is a great way to keep each member organized, parents too! Bookbags, shoes, winter clothing and sporting equipment can be much easier to locate when it is always in the same place!
13. Keeping essentials in the car makes it easy to take care of those last minute, unexpected details:
A bit of cash
Mouthwash (we sometimes eat on the run)
Snacks-fruit snacks, protein bars and nuts.
Extra socks, always! Winter essentials when needed.
Checking the calendar at the beginning of each week allows us to plan ahead and make the days run so much smoother!
Until next time, take care!