With a kindergartner, first grader, and third grader in addition to a toddler this fall, getting organized for school is an important part of staying sane, as well as maximizing free time for the entire family! You will love these simple and practical tips whether you homeschool or send your children to a public or private school.
An Easy, Practical Guide to Getting Organized for School
Give Everything a Place
Create a dedicated space where your family stores backpacks, shoes, coats, school papers, and lunch boxes. We invested in this (affiliate link) Jonticraft take home center because it has plenty of space for our family of six (the middle bins hold homework papers, and the top ones are papers I need to look at for each child). IKEA Expedit cases can also work, and a friend transformed an old entertainment center into a beautiful cubby for her kids by adding wood dividers and hooks!
Keep a Family Calendar
Our family calendar is digital. We use Google Calendar. Google Calendar is free and easy to use, and you can view multiple user’s calendars at one time. Mike and I share our calendars with one another. This way we always have some idea of what the other is doing. For family activities, whoever is creating the activity invites the other. We will create accounts for our kids as they grow older. If you prefer a paper system, there are some great family wall calendars you can use. I have several friends who use dry-erase wall calendars. You can write on a white board with overhead pens to prevent accidental erasing.
Create a Paper Routine
If you send your children to a public or private school, they probably bring home a lot of papers. Schedule a dedicated time of day when you will go through papers your kids bring home from school – we do this right after school. The kids have dedicated bins for their homework papers, and also bins for newsletters and papers I need to read and sign.
Help Kids Organize Tasks
This is especially important if you have kids who struggle with executive function, but I think any child benefits from the predictability of organization as they ease into a new school year! This can be a simple list for kids to read through or something more formal, such as this Melissa and Doug chore chart or Accountable Kids.
Schedule Free Time and Family Time
Going back to school can be a challenging time for kids – there are a lot of changes and new experiences! Be sure to schedule both free time and family time to reduce stress and to create opportunities to connect with your kids.
How do you create organization for a new school year?