Summer is coming to an end, and school will start sooner than you think. To get you prepared for the busy season of running around and helping your kids with schoolwork, today's post will talk about the three areas to set up to help make the school year organized. Doing this before school starts will minimize the mayhem.
1st Important Area: Create a space for your child to do their homework.
Let's find the right desk and space for your children. They may have specific demands, so asking them these questions will help determine their needs.
- Where does your child do his or her homework?
- Is it a convenient space?
- Do they prefer to be on the floor? Do they like the dining room table?
- Can it hold everything your child needs during the school year?
- Are they going from place to place to find items for their projects?
Make sure it is a quiet space and includes all their supplies, papers, and resources to save time. Below are several posts to help you get your child's homework space and desk.
Here are some examples of student desks from Amazon (Affiliate).
If possible, the desk should have at least one drawer for supplies. If not, look for desks with shelves. It will help keep the papers, books, and other items needed for homework.
If you have enough room, you can buy a rolling cart for them to store all their supplies on for easy access. I found these on Amazon (affiliate).
***AD*** The best academic planner for students! Order Out of Chaos Academic planner helps track time and tasks! Buy 1 or more today!
Don't forget to get a comfortable chair. An ergonomic chair is ideal for the student but isn't necessary unless he or she is home-schooled and will be in the chair for a while. A padded chair works best for daily sitting. Select a chair without armrests or a very low armrest. It doesn't allow the person to get close to the desk, which may create back issues later. Here are some examples from Amazon (affiliate).
Supplies can get out of hand too. So to make them more manageable, check out these posts about organizing kids' supplies.
SCHOOL SUPPLY ORGANIZER FOR HOME MADE EASY
HOW TO UPCYCLE PLANTERS INTO A DESK PENCIL HOLDER
2nd Important Area: Purchase the right weekly calendar/agenda planner for them to use.
Now, on to the time management and tracking projects. Answer these questions to help you determine what your child needs in a planner.
- Do your kids like to write things down on paper to remember what they need to do?
- Or do they prefer to write it on an app planner?
- Do they like to see their entire week or just the day?
- Do they prefer to see all the activities they need to do in one place or have different sections to lay them out separately?
I recommend a planner that has the entire week viewed on two pages. It should have checkboxes, a place for after-school activities, and a place to write the classes' homework assignments. To save themselves from hand cramps, you can type labels with the subject names, room numbers, and teacher's names and make it easier for the student to stick them on the calendar days and binders to help speed up the collection process of their books and writing their homework.
Full Disclosure: This is an affiliate link for these weekly planners by Order out of Chaos. I receive a referral fee if you click on the image and purchase time management tools on their site.
While having a great planner is important, it's also important to know how to use it effectively. Here are some posts to help with time management.
HOW TO IMPROVE TIME MANAGEMENT WITH AN ACADEMIC PLANNER
ACADEMIC PLANNER FOR TEENS TO MAKE THEM A TIME MANAGEMENT EXPERT
3rd important area: Be sure there is a great support system for your kids.
You and your child will not know everything that will happen this year so assure them that you are there for them. Reassure them that they can come to you when they have problems or concerns about school, social, or anything else. Also, remind them that their grandparents, teachers, and counselor are also there to help them. Kids easily forget that they are not alone, so keep telling them. Your children will appreciate you telling them you are there to support them.
Many stressors happen in specific years throughout your child's education; I have included several other posts to give you more information.
Elementary School Back To School Organization posts:
HOW TO ORGANIZE AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENT FOR SUCCESS
FIVE MUST-DOS BEFORE GOING BACK TO SCHOOL AMID COVID
BACK TO SCHOOL STUDENT ORGANIZATION CHALLENGE
THE REASONS I LOVE ORDER OUT OF CHAOS® ACADEMIC PLANNER
Middle School Back to School Organization posts:
HOW TO REDUCE ACADEMIC STRESS FOR MIDDLE SCHOOLERS
5 MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENT ORGANIZING ESSENTIALS TO HELP THEM SUCCEED
EFFECTIVE WAYS TO OVERCOME YOUR CHILD'S STUDYING PROBLEMS
Keeping these three areas organized and maintaining them throughout the school year will help your child succeed. Visiting these areas to ensure they are organized before the school year will help your children adapt to the new changes.
Other experts' advice.
Feel free to check out these articles from popular publications that will give you more tips on what to do to get the school year organized.
50 Genius Back-to-School Organization Ideas to Kick Off the School Year Right
6 Ways to Get Organized for Back-to-School
30 Fantastic Ways to Organize the House Before Back to School
Now it's your turn. What areas do you organize before your child starts school? Please leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you.
Great idea to include establishing a support system. It's not just about the physical space!
Excellent suggestions. I love the last one especially. Kids face so many challenging things these days. Life is not as stress free for them as it was when we were kids. One of the things that I found helped my kids adjust to new situations or deal with challenges was to talk through them - sort of war gaming so that they can process what to expect or how to react in advance. You're so right that it is important to let them know regularly that you care and want to help.
What great pointers! While parents may automatically consider space, if they aren't solid user of time planning (whether digital or analog), it would be easy for them to miss that piece of the puzzle. And support — all those human resources from emotional to academic — are, as you say, easy for kids to forget they have (and it's common to not recognize it's OK to have) in addition to just teachers and parents.
I love the three areas of focus you chose to help kids have a successful start to their school year- space, time, and support. Depending on their age, their space and supplies needs can change over time. When our kids were younger, they preferred working at the dining room table so we could easily lend our support if needed. As they got older, they wanted an official desk (of their own) to work. Their planning tools/calendars also changed over time. We were more involved when they were younger, but as they aged, they took over managing their time and plans.
The support piece never ends. Even as they are now adults, they know we're there for them and will extend support on their terms. Sometimes that's simply a listening ear. Other times they want our help teasing out a solution to a challenge.
Great tips! It's not all about the glue sticks and binders - having a dedicated organized space for homework and a great support system is just as important!
Diane N Quintana
These are great suggestions. I love the questions you pose to get parents thinking about what their child (children) will need and use.
Thanks, Diane! As parents, we tend to get caught up in the back-to-school shopping season and not think about what the child needs and uses. Stopping and thinking for a moment about what the child's needs are and then taking action will not only reduce clutter but also save money.
I love your point about determining what kids will need in their work space. As kids get older, their needs change significantly. One year you may be stocking up on colored pencils, and the next you are buying a laptop. As the needs go digital, it is important to think about where devices can be plugged in for work and for storage. Taking time to think these things through is always worthwhile, especially when you include the children in the process!