As the days in August fly by I have been in denial, refusing to admit that summer is coming to an end. With schools starting in just a couple of weeks, its time to admit that summer is almost over and fall is upon us. The start of school is always a little bittersweet, sure soon enough the weather will be cooler and the leaves will change, but in the mean time I look forward to the yearly ritual of mid August back to school shopping.
Once you acquire all those great new school supplies how do you keep them organized? Soon enough your kids will be bringing home tons of paperwork, things you need to sign and get back to the school. Not to mention the usual homework and of course any craft projects that will inevitably take over your kitchen table, making serving a family dinner next to impossible. The first step is to get organized for yourself and for any kiddos you might have running around.
Begin getting organized for the new school year by creating a designated homework space for your kids. Make sure that it is a place with limited distractions, where they can focus and have the space to spread out their work and complete anything from math to art projects. You obviously don’t want glue and sharpie to cover your antique dining room table that has been passed down for generations, so find a table that can withstand a bit of a mess. The most obvious spot is the kitchen table; you can catch up with them while making dinner or cleaning up after you get home from work. But don’t discount other areas in your home. Depending on your child’s style of learning and degree of independence the basement or a corner of their room are also great places to set them up so that they can focus and not be distracted by snacks, what’s on TV and of course siblings.
Make sure that there is also a designated space for backpacks and extra school supplies. If your kids have a daily routine of dropping off their backpacks in a certain spot they are less likely to be unable to find their bags when you are scrambling to get out the door the next morning. When it comes to supplies you should keep basic things like pens, pencils, scissors, glue, extra notebooks and lined paper around but you don’t want them cluttering up your family space.
Creating a supply station is a great way to keep these items contained and lets your children know where they can always find anything they might need for the next project! As a bonus they also know where to return everything that they used, making clean up their responsibility! So how do you create this organized space? Simple, head on over to the Container Store or Home Goods and stock up on bins that you can label. At this point it up to you and your personal style, there is something for everyone. Clear bins make it easy to see what is inside, while boxes with lids disguise the contents so that you can display them on open shelving. If you would rather contain everything in a closet you might try a clear shoe organizer. That way once the door is closed guests will never know that your kitchen doubles as your children’s homework area.
Keeping your kids organized takes a lot of effort. You need to know what homework or projects they are working on and when they are due, but you also want you kids to know as well and take responsibility for their own homework. They best way to keep everything straight is to make a family calendar. Sure that shared Google calendar is great when you need to know when the dentist appointments and sports practices are scheduled; but sometimes it’s easier (and lets face it more satisfying) to have a physical list where your children can cross off their homework as they finish. This way both of you know what is left for them to accomplish and when it needs to be done. Whether you create a chalkboard wall, erasable calendar, or like to kick it old school with a planner depends on your own personal style. As long as you provide a space (even a small one) to keep track of what everyone is doing you and your kiddos will be set to take on the new school year!
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