My son officially starts Kindergarten tomorrow! He’s ready, I’m ready. Will I cry? Not sure. It will definitely be emotional. It’s like in that one moment as you say good bye, all the memories flashback. Everyone says how fast it goes, while we all know that, it’s these childhood milestones that remind us to appreciate each moment.
Whether you started last week or are about to head back soon here are some great zen tips from TZM contributor and professional organizer Kristin Borostyan.
8 Back To School Organization Tips
New school supplies, new clothes, new friends and new experiences. What’s not to love about starting school? This is my favorite time of year because the start of the school year allows everyone to start over, dream and discover new possibilities for themselves. I am still this excited for my kids to start school and my kids are in high school and college.
But starting the new school year can be stressful for both moms and kids. The excitement, the anticipation, and the new morning and afternoon routine might be overwhelming to little ones especially if they are not prepared for the transition. As a former school counselor, I always found that students who prepared ahead of time for the upcoming change were the most successful with the transition.
And who doesn’t want less headaches, whining or frustration in the morning?
Here are my best organizational tips on making the transition to the first days of school fun and exciting for your little ones:
1. Start your kids on the school schedule a few days before school starts. Knowing the routine of the morning takes the stress out of the morning. Have practice mornings so your child knows what time to get up and what needs to happen before getting out the door. And really leave the house! Go to the park, visit a friend or grab a bagel before going back home. Setting up some structured mornings now will reduce the anxiety of getting off to school on time.
2. Decide how your child will wake up each morning. Some kids do better with you waking them up and some independent kids want to set an alarm. Talk to your child about this and let him or her have a say in how they wake up in the morning. Allow your child who wakes up grumpy some extra time to him or herself so you aren’t rushing or fighting with them in the morning. Give yourself an extra 15 to 30 minutes before they get up to get yourself together. Having a smooth wake up time starts the day off right.
3. Make A Morning Routine Chart. Foster some independence in your child by making a chart that details the things they need to do so you don’t have to keep reminding them. Use pictures to help them identify what needs to be done. You can have pictures of them dressing themselves, getting their breakfast, brushing their hair and teeth and putting on their shoes. This makes it easy for you because all you do is point to the chart for your child to get motivated in the morning. Knowing what they have to do will mean less nagging from you
the zen mom morning routine free printable4. Calendar all school events on an electronic calendar for them to see. You can use a Gmail or another electronic calendar and color code their activities each week. Make a color coded section for each event so your child can easily identify when art, music or PE is during the week and plan accordingly. You can schedule days off from school, holidays, field trips and birthday parties too! You might even put their after school activities on the calendar so they know when soccer or piano practice happens during the week. Kids love to see what is coming next and having a calendar really helps them understand how time works during the week. Teachers use this type of calendar system all the time so you are just modeling what your child’s teacher does already. As your child gets older, they can calendar these items for themselves. This also allows for some independence because kids can take responsibility for things that are coming up like wearing their sneakers on PE days.
5. Make a bunch of healthy snacks and leave them in a place where your child can grab and go. I used to have a big bowl of snacks on the counter when my kids were in elementary and middle school so they could take what they wanted to school for snack time. We use to plan out the snacks they wanted and then we made little snack bags for them. This really freed up my morning time.
6. Pre-plan. Make the routines for getting out of the house as easy as possible. In other words, get as organized as you possibly can now. Hang hooks for back packs and coats, use bins for sorting paperwork and put clothes out the night before. All of this seems like common sense but so many issues come up because we are not organized in the morning when we are trying to get out the door
7. Buy a plastic bin for their treasures that come home from school. This will become their memory box. Children can go through their papers at the end of each week and save the special ones in their memory box. At the end of the semester, go through the box and keep only what is truly special. This will help you control the amount of paper in your house!
8. Finally designate an email address just for your child’s school. Having a separate email account for your child’s school ensures that you don’t miss anything important from the school. You can also coordinate that email with your electronic calendar for your child.
Making the transition smoother for everyone is the goal. Be creative and think up ways that will help you and your child be more organized each day. It truly does ease the stress and will make getting off to school a breeze!
Happy first day of school and happy organizing…..