Lost homework? Missing shoes? One glove? Are these things a familiar part of your tweens’ morning routine? If so, you’re not alone. It seems most families have their share of the last minute dash of getting kids to throw down some breakfast, pack up their school stuff and brush their teeth during the two-minute crunch before the bus comes. If you’re tired of this daily madness, here are 4 tips to get your kids more organized at school and at home.
Establish a homework/school papers tracking system. “Kids need a system that works for them and is aligned with their school teachers’ systems,” says Sara Long, founder of Sara Long Organizing in Brookhaven, Pa. (www.saralong.com) If it’s a binder system, make your child responsible for it. Parents need to take a step back and let their child complete the daily tasks of pulling important papers out and putting finished homework assignments, signed permission slip forms, etc. back into it.
Use daily “to do lists” and personal calendars. Parents can work with their kids to create a daily “to do list” and provide them with a simple personal calendar. “The calendar is great tool for writing down future projects, key homework assignments and school events. If your kids have cell phones, they may be able to update their homework, to-do lists and calendars on them. Teaching tweens to look at their “to do list” and their calendar every day are invaluable time management skills that will help them stay organized for the rest of their lives,” adds Ms. Long.
Pack up the night before school. Once homework assignments are done, make sure that your kids load up their textbooks, notebooks and binders into their backpacks before going to bed. It will save them time and avoid the “rushing out the door” morning routine.
Control the front door area clutter. With the icy winter weather, kids have additional belongings to keep track of – hats, gloves, scarves and boots. Winter is the right time to reassess the area of your home in which kids keep their school stuff (mudroom, back hallway, front door area etc.) “For these areas, think vertical and give everything a place. Use sturdy hooks for bookbags and coats. Use benches for kids to sit down and put their shoes underneath. Make it easy for kids and you’ll save time,” suggests Ms. Long.
By getting your kids to adapt these easy organizational tips and by controlling the winter seasonal clothing clutter, you’ll help to eliminate the morning madness and put more peace into household routines. Now, what could be better than that?