You’ve made it! The madness of back to school is behind you.
Kids are getting settled into their new classrooms and the carpool is starting to become second nature. It’s the golden time of the school year – the routine is established but nobody’s burned out yet. It’s a great time to do a mental check on how the year is going and make tweaks and refinements accordingly. This KB Home blog offers tips to help you and your kids to stay on track this school year!
1. Bedtime Check
Are your kids going to bed when asked and waking up bright and refreshed? (ha!) Making the transition from summer hours to school hours is tough, and it’s tempting to throw in the towel and wait for daylight savings time to kick in to get them on track. (it starts on Nov. 6 this year, by the way) Don’t do it! Studies show that when kids don’t get enough sleep it leads to lower performance in the classroom, behavioral problems, and much more
Getting them to bed early enough for them to get the sleep they need should reap many benefits. Wilson Elementary shared this handy chart last year, which is a great reference. We can all dream, right?
2. How’s homework going?
If your student is cheerfully tackling their homework without a reminder, read no further! For the rest of us, it’s a great time to introduce a routine or improve upon whatever you have in place. The experts offer loads of ideas and recommendations, from encouraging food and exercise before homework to establishing a designated place (like the kitchen table) and time of day (i.e., while you’re cooking dinner). This article in Parents provides additional recommendations, depending on your needs.
3. Evaluate Your Sorting System
Is your home and mudroom clean, organized, and pristine, or has it been buried under a pile of handouts, backpacks, and art projects? Now that you know what the school year will bring, take a look at the flood of stuff coming through the door every afternoon and think about how to keep it under control. Setting up a recycling bin near the after-school entrance, with a surface where you and your children can sort through the day’s materials and mail is a great way to get things under control. Use your phone’s camera to snap pictures of any materials that you need to reference and recycle everything else. You’ll reduce the paper pile and have information handy at all times. Only the really important stuff should make its way into your living space.
4. Reduce the Lunchbox Craziness
For those without school-age children, it may be hard to imagine what could be difficult about managing lunchboxes. But the problem is real. Hunting high and low for a child’s lunchbox when you’re rushing to get out the door in the morning is no fun. Realizing it’s still in the car, crusted with yesterday’s leftovers, is even less fun. Getting the kids on track with lunchboxes requires some planning, a five-minute conversation, and consistent follow through. Each child should be responsible for carrying in their own lunchbox and setting it on the kitchen counter so you can see what they didn’t eat. Whatever is left over becomes their after school snack. Older kids should rinse out containers and bento boxes and/or throw away garbage. By dinner time, lunchboxes should be clean and in their predesignated spot – ready for the next day’s fill. And on Friday afternoon, there’s no better feeling than stashing the lunchboxes in the cupboard, knowing that you won’t have to look at them for two whole days.
5. Check in on Clothing
Now that the weather is getting cooler, you may be noticing some gaps in your kids’ wardrobe, be it wrists poking out of jackets, last year’s boots growing tighter on your child’s feet, or knees busting through a favorite pair of jeans. It is a great time to stock up on what they need for fall and winter, and to sort through, then purge summer clothes that are getting too small.
Once you’ve figured out the best approach for your family, sit back and enjoy the moment. The calm won’t last long… After all, the holiday onslaught is just around the corner.
Now that school has started we would like to help prepare you for what’s to come! Be sure to check out our blog 4 Memorable Ways to Mark the End of the School Year for first and last day photo ideas and tips on how to store those school projects! It always helps to think ahead!