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Organized and Ready for School

Organized and Ready for School

With just a few sensible tips, parents and kids will easily slide into the school year.

By FamilyTime

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School may have started in your part of the country, or it might be right around the corner. Whether your kids are back in the routine or about to be, here are a few tips to make sure they are well organized and ready for the months of learning and growing to come.

Read to Your Kids
This is always important, no matter what time of year. At the beginning of the year, it is especially important for kindergartners and first and second graders.

Reading to your youngster is a good way to help him learn to sit still. Kindergartners should be able to sit quietly for about 15 minutes -- and home is the best place to practice this skill. First graders should be able to sit and listen for about 20 minutes, and second graders about 25 minutes.

Don't think because your child can sit for hours in front of the television she will be able to concentrate in school. It's a completely different kind of concentration that requires more focus. 

Figure Out Clothing
Once school starts, parents may be dismayed to learn all those back-to-school clothes are "totally wrong." Even very young children may come home in tears because they don't fit in with what they perceive to be cool.

The best way to handle this is to compromise. Team the new shirt with an old pair of jeans. Buy one or two items that are "in" and suggest ways to blend them with other clothes.Don't buy too many new clothes until school has been in session for a few weeks and you and the kids have a better idea of what is appropriate and needed.

Help your child learn to plan her outfit the night before. Once she finds how helpful this is, she will probably do so on her own. If not, try to keep up with the practice all year, regardless of your own schedule.

Pack Your Child's Backpack
It's one thing to suggest the kids pack up their schoolwork the night before. It's another to make sure they have everything they need in their backpacks.

When the school year starts, even veteran students may forget the obvious. See that they have sharpened pencils, erasers, pens, and notebooks. If they are required to bring a ruler, compass, or calculator to class, check that this piece of equipment goes into and stays in the backpack.

Until your children get into the habit themselves, check that the correct homework and the right books are returned to the backpack after homework is done. Few things frustrate teachers more than hearing: "I did my homework but I forgot it."

Keep Up the Good Work
Most of us start the school year with good intentions and resolve. Many of us slip a little as the weeks and months progress. Don't let this happen.

Enlist your children to help you make permanent "to do" lists at the start of the year and post them someplace where everyone can see them. Include basics such as "pack backpack," "lay out clothes," "remember gym shoes Mondays and Thursdays," and "sharpen pencils."

Buy and hang a large calendar or get everyone into the habit of using an online calendar. Mark school events, parent-teacher conferences, vacation days, and sports events. Make sure everyone looks at this and keeps it up to date.

If you determine to stay organized from now until June, the school year will be a good one!

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