At our house, it is the day before we return to school from a fun, relaxing winter break. I am watching my child mope around the house with a downcast look on her face. She is not thrilled to go back to school. And THAT is an understatement. She has had time to sleep in, binge her favorite streaming shows, and hang out with her friends. But, we all knew that this day would come eventually. My gaze shifts to her backpack that has been lying on the floor since the day break began. I dread what may be lurking in the depths of those pockets. And there are SO MANY pockets…some of them are DEEP! Treats from the classroom holiday party? A gym uniform that has been trapped in a zipped up backpack? A note from a teacher? A test that requires my signature? Ahhh… I am not looking forward to seeing the contents of her backpack, but it has to be explored just the same. We have to move forward into the second half of the year and I want her first day to be as stress free as possible. So, we WILL tackle that backpack today. Here’s my point. Kids need to be organized to function successfully during the school day. Now that we are at the start of a new calendar year, and probably getting ready to head back to school after a relaxing winter break, now is the time to reintroduce kids to some organization. In this blog, I will share a few tips that will help ease kids into school after a long break.
Review and Revamp Routines
You may have had successful routines before the break. But, that was WEEKS ago. Now is a good time to review them. Talk with your child about what they need to do in the morning to get ready for school. What time to they need to wake up? What will they be having for breakfast? What are they going to wear? Not having to think about these things in the morning eliminates so much unnecessary stress. Do as much preparing the night before a school day as possible. Have them make their lunch, charge their school devices, and pack their backpack. What about after school routines? Remind your kids about their homework routines. Do they come home, have a snack, then start tackling their homework? Or do they come home, relax and unwind, then work on it after dinner? If your routines were not quite working the first half of the year, now is the time to change it up!
Use Checklists or Assignment Books
The school I work at provides students with assignment notebooks. I encourage my students to mark completed assignments with a check mark once they have finished them. It keeps them focused and provides a satisfying sense of accomplishment!
Okay, so we are back to the backpacks. Well, backpacks are your child’s traveling school locker and they need to be organized, and for some of us, decontaminated! Okay, maybe just MY kid’s backpack needs this extra step. It may seem like a daunting task, but it can be done. Let’s start with paper organization. Make sure your child has folders to keep their papers organized and neat so that they are not turning in a crumpled mess. What about “floating” supplies? Use a zippered pouch to store pencils, erasers, calculators, etc. in their backpack. This will, hopefully, reduce or even eliminate the items floating around in the backpack.
In closing, help your child start the second half of the school year strong by helping them prepare for their school day and stay organized. These little tips will help them not only survive, but thrive during their school day and hopefully, the rest of the year!