I'm just starting a new school year too and would like to talk to you about how we use routines to help our little girl stay organized.
It has been 20 years since I had a child starting Kindergarten and I have to say that my biggest concern is keeping her organized beause, an organized student has a greater chance of success.
Even in Kindergarten, actually especially in Kindergarten, we will keep a schedule in order to stay organized. We started going to bed at 8:00 several weeks ago to ensure that we are developing a routine that will allow her to get enough sleep.
What I know is that teaching her to be organized starts with me. Having a morning and afternoon schedule that we follow, will allow me to develop habits that will guarantee success.
Several weeks before school, we have been talking about “big school”. It is usually just 2-3 sentences about getting on the big yellow bus every morning and how in Kindergarten they don’t take toys to school. We talked – she listens and we had a smooth transition.
Another thing that we do every night is get out her clothes and socks the night before. We put them on top of her toy box so that either myself (or my husband) know what she will be putting on that morning…and sometimes she likes to chose her own clothes too. (Of course, we check The Weather Channel on our cell phones to make sure that we are picking appropriate clothing for the day).
I also have purchased my 2014 Calendar – I have used the Planner Pad for years! I went online to the school system website and have already identified things such as Back to School night (on the 24th of September). On Thursday, the 3rd of October my calendar is marked for Interim Reports that will be sent out. You get the idea. This will make sure that I schedule my work day and clients, as well as not miss out on any school activities, etc.
One other important part of teaching her to stay organized is to identify her after-school routine. First thing…papers come out of the backpack and put into a specific place (not on the kitchen table). After dinner, we sit down and fill out whatever needs to be filled out and have her put them back into her backpack (not us). This will give her the opportunity to be responsible. I don’t want to be responsible for everything and neither should you. Then we’ll follow the bedtime routine.
It may sound a little anal or OCD to you. However, we’ll be sticking to the routine because eventually the routine becomes habit and the habits will allow for a very happy school year. Starting routines isn’t always easy and it doesn’t happen overnight. Write down your routine and put it on the fridge or somewhere that everyone can see it. This will help you stick to it and have an awesome school year.
I’d love to hear about your school routines and will be happy to help however I can. Just let me know!