Busy parents often need a helping hand when it comes to supporting their kids during the school year. But then again, I’ve yet to see a parent who isn’t busy! If you’re among the many frazzled moms or dads trying to juggle work, kids, social events, school events, extracurricular, and the like, then there’s a good chance you could use some tips to keep it all organized.
- Pencil it in. Or type it in, whichever you prefer, but during the school year, a family calendar is a must. I tossed out the traditional pencil and paper variety this year and went digital. There are many online calendars and apps that can help keep your whole family on track. I’ve heard that Cozi is good for families with teenagers, but for now, I prefer Google calendars. Once I enter an event or appointment, I can color-code it by kid or by category and even merge it with my husband’s calendar so that everyone is on the same page.
- Do it now. We have a policy at my house. When the kids get home, they immediately give me any papers to sign as well as flyers from the school. We also discuss homework for the day, and although I don’t make them do it immediately, we do set a time for the work to be completed. This keeps everyone on track and greatly reduces the chance of a late night or early morning crisis when someone suddenly realizes a forgotten assignment or due date.
- Start a “Keepers” folder. Katie has been in Kindergarten for less than a month, and I bet she’s brought home nearly a hundred papers already. No, I’m not exaggerating. As much as I love looking at her work, I know that I can’t keep all of it. I already had my own special book for the really good stuff, but when Katie found some of her papers in the trashcan, I knew I had to come up with another plan. After I consoled her and swallowed the lump of mommy guilt forming in the back of my throat, I decided that Katie would also have her own special book to keep the papers she likes best, and the rest we say goodbye to. Now, I have a happy kid and uncluttered countertops!
I’ve found that staying organized keeps the whole household a little happier during the year. There’s definitely some truth to that saying, “When Momma ain’t happy, nobody’s happy!” As I’m sure you know, kids have a tendency to pick up on your stress level, and when you’re calm and confident, they will be too. I can’t think of a better way to approach the school year.
Need more tips? Check out these back-to-school organizational strategies from a professional organizer. What about you? Do you have any special tips that keep you sane organized during the school year? If so, please share!