Even though COVID has made things feel unsettled and different this year kids will be going back to school in some way, shape, or form. Whether you are doing in-school learning, remote learning, or homeschooling it’s time to start making a plan for a smooth transition from summer to school. Hopefully, with a little planning, this year’s start can be a little less stressful than the rest of 2020 has been.
Coming up with the right systems, planning routines, and morning routines can take some work. As with any other routine or system, you have to work in a way that is right for you. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to home organization…and back-to-school organization is no different.
Here are a few tips to get you started.
Folders and Binders
Folders and Binders are not just school supplies when it comes to staying organized. One thing that has been different this year is the amount of information that is filtering in from the school on a regular basis. In order to corral this info, set up an email folder structure that will help you stay organized. Then, as info comes in you can move it to the correct folder. Every year I set up the main folder named with my son’s grade; if you have more than one child, just add their name. Then I add subfolders that help to organize things a little more. An example:
> Seventh Grade – The Mayor
–> Class Specific
–> Grades // Attendance
–> Newsletters // School Misc.
–> Summer Camp
–> Volunteer Time
While email folders are super handy, so is having a physical folder where you can put things that need attention or need to be gone through. Think about where school stuff gets dropped when kids come home and add a drop space for this stuff. A basket or bin works great for this…kids put stuff in, parents go through and get rid of what is not needed.
Most parents face the inevitable question of what to do with all the papers, pictures, and keepsakes that come along with the year. Decide how you are going to collect and what you are going to save, and set up your system in advance. I personally use a binder system, so I set up my binder at the beginning of the year and try to keep on top of it. Good news…the amount of paperwork seems to be decreasing with each grade.
Set up a grade-level specific homework or work station. Since a lot of kids will be starting the year with remote learning, designating in advance the spot they will work is huge! Setting the expectation of where the kids will work, be it a desk, the kitchen table, the patio, or a blanket fort in the family room, this will help them to jump into learning when zoom school starts.
For in-person learning, set up a homework caddy that can easily be pulled out when needed. Have things like markers, pencils, paper, and rulers on hand and easily accessible. Depending on your child(s) grade and their school situation this will dictate what kind of items you should keep in your caddy.
Check out examples of school organization tips on my Pinterest Board by clicking here.
Once you get these back-to-school organization basics under control, you are ready to dive into some additional planning like morning routines, calendars, lunch prep, and more. Be sure to check back for more tips to make a smooth return to learning.