Sunday, July 22, 2012

Back to School : The Kids Version

I am refusing to spend the last week of school running around, stressing out or doing anything other than playing, relaxing and having some fun. How is that going to happen? Well, I'm so glad you asked. I'm organizing the kids. Yes, the kids.

I've done quite a lot of back to school preplanning and prep work. The last few things are primarily for the kids' sake which, in turn, directly affects my sanity and stress level.

As their school clothes are purchased, they are washed and put in the closet--no waiting until the last Sunday of the summer. For Little Brother, I'll hang shirt and shorts together, to have a full week's wardrobe at the ready and it will make picking out his clothes so much easier for the both of us.

New shoes are purchased early and they get worn around the house a few times in order to break them in. All it took was for Big Brother to come home the first day of school with blisters and I learned that lesson.

The backpacks are already packed, zipped and ready to go. For Little Brother, this was very simple.  Pencils are sharpened and placed in the pencil box with crayons, scissors and glue sticks. Folders are filled with paper and everything is labelled with his name. The middle schooler requires more supplies but still a very simple process. All binders are prepared with tab folders and plenty of paper. Taking a cue from a wonderful teacher, everything is color coordinated. The red binder gets the red folder, etc. It's so simple, but it really helps in eliminating chaos. Another tip we're trying this year is putting a pencil pouch in every binder. I grew weary of hearing how he had to borrow a pen every other day. Now there is three binders with three pouches filled with pens and sharpened pencils. No matter which class he is in, at least he won't be fumbling and searching for something to write with.

Their work space has been put into order. I've cleaned out all the gum wrappers and stray video games. I've polished their desk and restocked all supplies including sticky notes, staples, paper, markers, and tape. A little organizing will go a long way.

I've come to realize the few days prior to school and the first days of their new schedules cause my kids a certain amount of anxiety. If I can make the transition go a little smoother, they aren't as nerve-wracked. When the last week of summer rolls around, we can take a trip, go out for pizza and movies, or do absolutely nothing at all. We won't be scrambling around at the last minute trying to get everything done. Where is the fun in that?

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