If you’ve been in school or have a child in school, you’ve got an idea of how much paperwork can be involved, not only at the beginning of the year but all year long. It can be overwhelming and if you don’t start off with a system in place, things can become overwhelming very quickly. Here are a few suggestions you can try to help maintain some organization:
Have a dedicated space for paperwork.
You could do this a couple of ways-either have an area for each child to put their paperwork in for you to look at and for them to take out and return to school or have pockets for specific tasks. Maybe you have a pocket for things Mom needs to look at, Mom needs to sign and kids need to take back to school. After school the kids would sort their papers into the appropriate pockets and when repacking their bags check for things that need to go back to school. Having a system like this keeps the papers off the table or counter and gives the child the responsibility of sorting and checking from things to return. Check out something to hang on the wall with pockets (similar to a mail sorter), file folders or bins as the places for paper to be sorted in to.
Set a schedule.
What’s going to happen when you get home? Should the kids jump right into homework? Help with dinner? Having a routine will let them know what to expect every day and be able to anticipate what they should be doing. Of course things come up and might be different every now and again, but something that works most days will be helpful to have in place. My boys love to empty their bags as soon as they get home so having a routine and spot to put all the paperwork can keep things from being misplaced.
Pick a spot for homework.
Knowing where to go when it’s homework time will help get them into a learning frame of mind at home. Having this area stocked up with supplies like pencils, erasers, extra paper and other things from the school supply list removes the excuse of not being able to finish the homework because they couldn’t find a sharpened pencil. Make sure there’s a spot in their homework area for homework to be worked on and where finished work should go.
Each day might have a different routine and that’s ok! Sports, appointments or other obligations might not take place every single day so having a plan for those days is important too. Maybe a bag in the car with some school supplies and a laptop desk help a sibling work on homework while your other child is at sports practice. Stick a file folder in the bag to keep track of work that needs to be completed so you can just grab it to take inside once you’re home.
Don’t be afraid to make tweaks as you get further into the year too. Just because it worked the first month of school doesn’t mean it’ll work all year. Reevaluate things and make adjustments as you need to throughout the year.
Do you have a nightly routine? Share below by leaving a comment.