Back to School

Today is Labor Day, which means no matter how we try to deny it, summer is officially over!

For many of us, the end of summer means back to school.  How can you help your kids to stay organized during the school year?

Create a bookbag niche

When your child walks in the house after school, where does he drop his bookbag or backpack?  Right in the entryway, so that everyone else who walks in the house trips over it?  In the middle of the living room, so that the room always looks cluttered?  Start off the school year by identifying a space that is specifically for your child’s bookbag.

Institute a bookbag emptying routine

A lot of stuff goes back and forth between school and home each day.  Don’t forget to ask your child each day whether anything has been sent home for parents to see.  Once a week (Sunday nights are a good time), sit with your child to dump out her bookbag and make sure that everything comes out that is supposed to come out.  This includes any graded assignments that can now be filed away and any other stuff that doesn’t need to go back to school.

Set up a filing system for old papers

Set up a hanging file box or a looseleaf binder – separated by subject — for any schoolwork, notes, tests, etc., that your child brings home.  Keeping this up throughout the year will help greatly when he needs to study for a test or refer back to a past lesson, and it will make the end-of-school-year cleanup much easier.

Create a checklist

Simplify the morning rush by having a checklist of everything your child needs to take to school:  keys, homework, lunch, MetroCard, equipment for after-school activities, etc.  Keep this checklist near the door.  Pack as much as possible the night before, and get your child in the habit of looking at it before leaving the next morning.

For more back-to-school organizing ideas, see the cover article in last month’s issue of Time Out New York Kids, featuring advice from the Organizing Goddess® and other experts.

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