Wednesday, September 12, 2007

School Organization

I will be the first to admit I was NOT born organized. In fact, the whole idea was foreign to me until I had (several) kids BUT the more kids we've had, the more I've had to LEARN to be organized. Here are some of the ideas that work well for us to help with school organization:

1.) Get up early. This is the hardest one for me, but it is VERY important.
2.) Have a master calendar. I also have a daily planner. Check every night before bed and every morning upon waking. Oh, and multiple times in between :-) I also have a large bulletin board in the laundry room with master school and sports schedules.
3.) Have a master box of extra school supplies. I buy extra supplies in the summer when things are on sale. Poster board is a very important supply. I learned this the hard way--finding a store open at 11 pm for a procrastinating high-schooler. If my kids need a supply not in the box they are to write me a note and put it on the fridge.
4.) Keep a small school supply box full of supplies for homework and readily accessible where homework is done. If there is more than one area, have more than one box.
5.) Have a daily homework time for elementary school kids. My older kids fit it in on their own time.
6.) Have a desk folder for school info. You know, all those things you get at back-to-school night with teacher's e-mail addresses, class schedules and such. Some moms have a separate folder for each kid--I'm not that organized.
7.) Have a breakfast menu or at least plan what will be for breakfast the night before. We were a cold cereal family for many years when we had a new baby in the house--no guilt from me. It can help just to get out the boxes and bowls.
8.) Along the same line, it can be helpful to make lunches the night before. I usually pack the things that won't get soggy and make the sandwiches the morning of.
9.) Sign and return papers immediately. If my child hands me a slip to sign for a field trip, I immediately sign it, get money for the event out of my purse, and have my child put it back into their backpack.

10.) Lastly, my MOST SUCCESSFUL SCHOOL ORGANIZATION TIP! Have a check-off list to use in the evening. Direct the children to the list so you are not forever asking the same questions over and over i.e. "Did you brush your teeth, did you . . ." All you need to say is, "Have you finished your check-off list?"

Ours is posted on the side of the fridge. It is only intended for the elementary age kids. Here is what it says:

1. 6:45 Start bath/shower (for the record, my kids do not bathe everynight. Nobody has died from lack thereof.)
2. Lay out clothing (they lay out what they will wear the next day including outfit, socks, shoes, hairbows.)
3. Put backpack by front door (make sure homework is signed.)
4. Do a housesweep (this is where they look all around the house and pick up things that are theirs or things they had out. They also need to spend a few minutes picking up their bedroom--some children are better at this than others :-)
5. Have a snack if you have time (They need to be done with all the above by 7:45 to have a snack--it's a very good incentive!)
6. Brush teeth
7. Read. Eric usually reads a bedtime story to the kids-their favorites continue to be any of Bill Peet's books. I think we own all but two. A good incentive for a child who needs to read but does not like to read is to let them choose to go to bed or stay up 20 minutes later reading on their own. It works!

After that we do an individual tuck-in with each child. I pray with each child. I lay down with each child, reading my book and talking to them about their day.

Finally, it is time to collapse myself and start all over the next day

1 comment:

S. said...

Thank you, that is very helpful to a very unorganzied mom of 2--soon to be 3.