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Back To School: When No One in Your Home is Going Back to School

 

Back to school! Its that time of year that makes moms happy and sad; happy to start new routines and sad about the energy and organization it can take to get your family going. Throughout the month of August we are featuring organized moms who will help get you started back to school with the toughest tasks. Here is an post for the families where no one in your home is going back to school. 

For some of us, no one in our households are heading back to school. However, preparing for a new school year has been such a deeply engrained experience in our lives that it’s hard not to find yourself browsing for school supplies.

I use this time of year to regroup after the summer and gather my wits before the holiday season gets into high gear. Why let school kids have all the fun?

Here are a few things I do to prepare for the new school year even though I won’t be sitting in a classroom:

  • New Clothes. With sales on clothes, it’s a good time to pick up summer clothes on sale and preview the fall fashions. I use this time of year to assess what summer clothes are leaving and what items I need for the fall and winter. If I didn’t have my coats and jackets cleaned before the temperatures rose, it’s a good time to get those cleaned before you need them. For me, I will be shopping for new boots. Last year, I wore my kicky black boots until they were literally falling apart, and they’re beyond repair. I’ve already perused a few fall catalogs.
  • School Supplies. We never really outgrow school supplies. Because school supplies are readily available, it’s a good time to restock sticky notes, pens, notepads, and my personal favorite – Sharpie markers.
  • Giving Back. I remember the thrill of having new school supplies, and I also remember the times when we didn’t have new things because money was tight.  The parents of my nieces and nephews always take care of their school supplies, and I don’t need to buy any for them. Instead, I pick out a fun backpack and fill it with school supplies for a back-to-school drive.
  • The Holidays. Yes, I know it’s August, but I do start thinking about the holidays early, especially since my parents are saying they’re coming for Thanksgiving this year. I made a list of house projects I want completed before the parents pull into the driveway. I also make my holiday list and jot down the interests and ideas I have for my nieces and nephews.

 Janice Simon is owner of ClutterPrincess.com. She enjoys writing, organizing, dark chocolate, time with her nieces and nephews, and action movies.

Back to School Time Management

Back to school means getting back into schedules, activities and getting to school on time.  It is hard to do, especially after summer.   One of the most important parts of back to school is getting back or getting going on good routines.  Routines are the consistent, every day ways of getting things done that make life easier.  Try out these routines this fall, starting them the third week of August, so that by the first day of school you are already in the groove. 

  •  Have a set schedule for homework and other chores.  Designate a little time for down time, and then start on homework in the late afternoon. The later you start homework, the longer it takes.  Decide on what chores are done on what days and post a chart so everyone is on board with this plan. 
  • Use power periods to get homework done. Instead of 2 hours straight, break your homework time into 15,30 or 45 minutes of work and 5 minutes of walking around, getting a drink,texting friends or taking a very short break. Your kids will be more efficient if they know that the homework needs to be done in 45 minutes.
  • All kids and parents need planners and calendars.  Host a family meeting each week to write in on a month at a glance calendar what upcoming and regular events are going on. Include even the weekly activities, like ballet, football or other kids and parent activities.  You can use the google calendar or Cozi.com if you are a techie, and print the calendar to post too.  Kids bring their planners too to fill in so everyone is modeling and practicing how to use their planners.
  • Set a bed time for the kids and parents.   Well rested kids do better in school. Well rested parents are more productive.  Set alarm clocks for everyone to get up and get going. 

Take a good look at the big picture and what you want this year to be for your family.  At your family meeting, have everyone talk about this and share.  Also think through over scheduling.  Be realistic about what your kids participate in and your commitment.  Being involved is a positive, but being over involved can cause stress and frustration.