Yay!! We’ve made it to the second month of school! The beginning of the school year is always filled with so much optimism for making this the most organized school year ever. New planners and organizers, new school supplies, and new determination for keeping on top of everything all year long. We scour Pinterest and collect school organization tips and school lunch ideas. We are so excited for a year full of promise.
But in reality, it’s really hard to effectively plan when there is so much you don’t know if those first few weeks. How much homework will there be? What is the schedule for after school activities? What are the new teachers like?
We quickly forget everything we prepared for when we are trying to keep up with a school year we didn’t plan for. So how do you keep organized when the excitement of back to school starts to become a distant memory? These new school year tips will help your family stay on track through out the year.
1. Determine what is working (and what isn’t)
Are your planners and organizational systems working they way you thought they would? I love a good planner and organizational system, but they are not a one-size-fits-all. Take some time to look at what is working and what isn’t working, and make adjustments. It may be as simple as moving your system to a better location (not around a corner that no one ever walks by – like ours once was), or it may require a complete overhaul.
2. Plan school lunches for the LAST time
School organization isn’t complete without school lunches!
I have lots of pins for packable lunches. I’ve collected lunch ideas that have fun themes, anything-but-sandwiches, complex bento boxes, and menus for two months without any repeats. I have great intentions pack the best lunches ever. But the planning, shopping, and prepping started to take a toll on our days. Our time was better spent getting homework done, clothes out for the next day, or just hanging out together in front of the TV (yes, take some time to just chill together!).
We picked out 5-7 of the kids’ favorite lunches and set a calendar to rotate those lunches each week. For some reason, we think we need to give so much more variety, but I’ve found the kids are just as happy with a smaller menu.losing momentum after the #BacktoSchool excitement? stay organized all year w/ these 5 #tips! Click To Tweet
3. Make a list of the week’s activities
We go through the process of copying our weekly schedule from our family calendar to our weekly activity board. It works because writing things down a second time helps the kids remember what they can expect for the week. Practices, homework due dates, and appointments for each day all go on an index card and put up on the board.
Don’t forget to check emails from the school and the teacher for other important dates.
We made this quick daily planner by staining a board found at our local hardware store. I attached one clip for each day of the week with hot glue. I then stenciled a letter for the days of the week on the board. We opted for this over a dry erase board because they tend to get messy over time, but that would work just as well.
4. Figure out your time sucks
Anything that is taking longer than it should are your time sucks. Especially if they are taking away from time you need for something more important.
Socks were once our time suck. Toward the end of the week, we had one child constantly late getting ready for school because he was always looking for socks in the morning. We solved the issue quickly by getting all those socks into the laundry on Sundays.
Maybe it’s not having the right school supplies at home. Or not enough time to make breakfast and lunches in the mornings. Stocking a homework station or having the kids make their lunches while you make dinner will give back that time you need.
If chores and meal times are taking more time than they should, read these posts on our strategy for keeping the house clean in just 15 minutes a day and how I prep ahead to get dinners done fast on busy nights.the school year in full swing - make sure the #school days stay stress-free with these tips Click To Tweet
5. Find a weekend to reset
You will learn what needs to change after your family has had some time to get settled into the new school year (6-8 weeks in). That is when you can find some time to start implementing those changes. Does one child have too much homework for their activity schedule? Does another child need a stock of school supplies at home? Maybe a teacher has a completely different approach than all the others, so you need to help your child adapt to a new after school schedule. Or maybe you need to go buy more socks? (hey, it worked for us!)
Don’t let the renewed hope of a new school year get lost too early and remember that school organization is only effective it works for your family!
We are always looking for new ideas to stay organized during the school year. Let us know your favorite ideas in the comments!