Tip of the week: Organizing routines for schoolThe start of a new school year is like a fresh box of crayons - full of possibilities.
By: The Associated Press, Superior Telegram
The start of a new school year is like a fresh box of crayons - full of possibilities. Ginny Bean, mother of three and publisher of Ginny's catalog, suggests families take advantage of this clean slate by establishing some new organizing routines.
Think ahead. Mornings are chaotic in most households with school-aged children. Consider handling as many daytime preparations as possible the night before. Lay out clothes. Pack lunches. Set out the breakfast dishes and cereal. Pack backpacks.
Tackle school paperwork. Make a habit of sorting through children's backpacks with them the same day they come home. Allot time after school, when you arrive home from work, or after dinner, depending on your family's schedule. Use a tiered letter sorter or filing system with designated slots for each child's papers, and an "A.S.A.P." space for teachers' notes, permission slips and anything else that requires immediate attention.
Designate a homework spot. Decide on the best spot in your home to set up homework central. Take into consideration how involved you need to be with homework and your child's style. Does he focus better with people around or in a private setting? Is he better suited to sit at a desk or curled up in a favorite chair with a laptop cart?
Create a communication hub. Include the family calendar, a chalk or bulletin board for posting messages and reminders, a binder for key documents, colored markers, pens and pencils. If you're a visual person, consider color coding your calendar by assigning each family member a different color.
Remember not to forget. Use wall hooks and baskets or bins near the front door to corral the items you need to remember each day: backpacks, books, lunches, gym shoes, sports equipment and musical instruments.