“Mom, where is my backpack?”
“Mom, I can’t find my new crayons?”
“Mom, where are my shoes?”
Sound familiar? Mom is the keeper of stuff, the genie who should be able to put her finger on anything requested. It’s an aggravating job description at times!
Getting organized as a family has been key to a successful start to the school year at our house. Few things will assist with a smooth transition as much as good preparation and a well-established routine. As the school year begins, determine where backpacks and school supplies are going to be kept and where homework will be done. Take into consideration sleep habits and family mealtimes. A little preparation keeps everyone calmer for the start of the school year. Here are 7 ideas to get off on the right foot, for you and your kids.
- Backpacks Backpacks need to be a good fit in size and design. Sometimes over-the-shoulder bags are more comfortable for kids than a traditional backpack. Label the interior of the bag with your child’s name using a permanent marker. Select a place where school bags can be consistently hung. After homework is completed, bags can be packed with all necessary items and placed in the predetermined area. No one enjoys a last minute scramble to search for missing schoolwork, library books, gym shoes, or backpacks. For ideas in getting the mudroom or your launch spot organized, click here.
- School Supplies Organize supplies in a predetermined homework area. Homework is generally done in the kitchen here at the Danielson household. The computer with Internet access is available, school supplies are stocked in the kitchen desk, and I’m handy to answer questions. I’ve found it’s helpful to keep a list going for additional items requested by teachers for specific classes.
- Cold Weather Clothing It’s never too early to purchase winter jackets and snow pants. Take your child to the store with you. Make sure zippers, buttons, and snaps are manageable. Look for boots, mittens, and hats too after checking to see what still fits from the previous year.
- Prayer Get in the habit of praying with and for your children as they leave for school. Click here for ideas!http://faithfirstparent.com/powerful-prayers-to-start-the-day/
- Sleep Keep bedtimes consistent over the weekends. Purchase an alarm clock for each bedroom. Place the clock across the room from the bed so the child has to get up to turn it off.
- Meals Plan healthy breakfasts. Have the school lunch menu available and bag lunch supplies accessible. A basket stocked with kid-friendly, nutritious snacks is good to have ready for children who have a classroom snack time or after school activities. Kids can toss a snack into their backpacks easily.
Decide what time dinner will be served according to extra curricular activity schedules. Choose a devotional or study to learn God’s Word during breakfast or dinner. Meals are a great time to dive into the Bible as a family.
- Calendar Keep the family calendar handy for all family members to see. Click for more ideas for keeping the calendar organized. During family meetings, plan out the events for the next week so decisions can be made in regard to carpooling, dinnertime, equipment and supplies needed, and so forth.
For God is not a God of disorder but of peace…
1 Corinthians 14:33a
By Becky Danielson, Christian wife, mom, licensed parent and family educator, and the co-founder of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting.
You can find her at, FaithFirstParent.com. She writes for Hooray for Family, an online and print magazine and facilitates the Parent and Family Education program at a Christian preschool in the Twin Cities.
Becky is also the co-author with Lori Wildenberg of Raising Little Kids with Big Love and Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love, both with Study Guides. Contact Becky to schedule a workshop or retreat for your church or group.