It’s hard to believe that the summer of 2019 is nearing the end and it’s almost time to go back to school! This is always a hectic time of year, for kids AND parents. Keeping up with homework, after-school activities and other responsibilities can be a challenge. A little organization can go a long way to helping everybody start the year on the right foot. Help your kids get prepared to go back to school with these simple tips.
Not sure when school starts? Visit Central Iowa School Starting Dates for the 2019-20 School Year. And, be sure to check out our Back to School Fun Guide for additional tips and resources for a successful start to the new school year.
Here’s 5 organization tips for going back to school:
1. Do a back-to-school bedroom clean and purge.
If your kids are like mine, their rooms have become somewhat of a dumping ground over the summer. We do what we call the “big clean” twice a year at our house. We do one before school starts and then again over winter break, after the holidays.
During the “big clean”, the kids are expected to go through their rooms and get rid of clutter and trash. Donate old clothes and toys that they’ve outgrown. I’ll be honest it takes some prodding to get them going, but they’re both usually pretty happy with the results, when they’re done.
2. Take inventory.
This is a great time of year to make some strategic purchases. But it’s good to know what you have before you run out and buy new. Go through your kids’ closets and make note of what still fits and what they will need for the new school year.
Additionally, go through leftover school supplies from last year and be sure to check what supplies they’ll need for the new school year. Is their lunchbox and backpack still in good shape? Do they need a new zipper binder? Lastly, does your kid participate in an after-school activity that requires you to purchase new gear? Is it on sale?
Check out our tips for what to buy now and later for back to school shopping.
3. Get as many appointments out of the way as you can.
Will your child be participating in a fall sport that requires them to have a physical? If so, be sure to get that done before school starts. It’s also a good idea to get other appointments from the doctor, to orthodontist, to hair appointments, out of the way before the first day of school.
If your child needs a health screening or a physical, here’s a few places around Des Moines that offer low-cost or no-cost options:
Clive Back to School Health Fair
DMPS Community Center & Clinic
Johnston Back to School Health and Resource Clinic
Urbandale Back To School Clinic & School Supplies
Waukee Back to School Family Resource Fair
West Des Moines School Physicals & Immunizations
4. Get a student planner.
Learning to plan ahead is hard and something kids should start thinking about at an early age. My kids both started using a school planner in third grade. It’s a good idea to introduce the idea of keeping a calendar or planner when they’re schedules aren’t too hectic. By the time they move on to middle school and high school, where they’re juggling multiple subjects with multiple teachers, they’ll have a good handle on how to keep track of what they need to accomplish each day.
There are a lot of options for planners out there, whether it’s paper or digital, it might take some trial-and-error before you find one that works for your child.
We’ve given some additional tips for planning ahead in our Back To School Survival Guide.
5. Establish some daily routines.
Depending on how old your child is and what activities they’re involved in, they will need to make a few transitions to new tasks throughout the day. Having a solid routine in place, can make all the difference for making those transitions go more smoothly, getting things done and not losing essential items.
Each family implements different systems to help them accomplish daily tasks. Some use checklists to get through the “morning mayhem”, others establish a “home paper station”, where important homework or school papers get placed, others create rules that homework needs to be completed, before heading outside to play.
If you’re looking for a few tools to help you with your morning and evening routines, be sure to check out Back To School: Establishing Morning & Evening Routines 4 Kids.
What are your tips for getting organized for the new school year? We’d love to hear!