Hold a Family Meeting
Your routines and standards may have loosened over the summer, so it’s a good idea discuss with your kids how that will change for the school year, says Julie Ross, executive director of Parenting Horizons.
Save on School Supplies & Stock Up Together
First, do a sweep of the house to see what essentials may be hiding in a junk drawer or the back of the closet. Then make a list of everything you still need and swing by The Dollar Store for cheap school supplies.
Shopping for supplies solo may be faster but taking your kids along is the better bet. They’ll be more excited about using the cool stuff they get to pick out,
Create a Visual Schedule
“Children are more likely to thrive, be independent, and struggle less when they know what’s expected of them,” says Francyne Zeltser, Psy.D., a NY-based certified school psychologist and adjunct professor. That’s why she recommends making a weekly schedule that uses pictures, not just words. “A visual schedule helps children easily understand and manage the daily events in their own lives,” says Zeltser. DIY how-to: Attach a drawing or photo of each scheduled activity on an index card, laminate the card, and apply a Velcro sticker. Then add these to a weekly chart where you can post these cards each day.
Create a mobile homework station.
Make school projects easier this year by creating a station they can go to for all their essentials: writing utensils, scissors, glue, you name it. This will keep your kids organized and you in the know when items are out of stock.
Pack Their Bag the Night Before
Avoid forgetting things during the morning rush by telling your child to pack their sports bags and backpacks before bedtime.
Download a family calendar app (like the Cozi Family Organizer) to keep everyone’s schedules straight and color-coded. Plus, it allows for shared reminders and editable shopping lists, so you’ll never forget when it’s your turn to bring snacks to soccer practice again.