I’m thinking a lot about organizing for the new school year. During the summer I was content to go with the flow and do things when I felt like doing them, instead of adhering to a routine. That’s what summer is for right? They’re not the ‘lazy days of summer’ without cause. There are a few differences this school year which require my attention. For one, Emma’s bus will be fifteen minutes earlier and even though she was always ready with time to spare, I don’t want to take anything for granted. And this year she’s going to the intermediate school where she will have two teachers, so I’m anticipating more homework. I’m also working every day, which is an increase from two days a week when school ended.
This week helped get me back into a routine because I needed to be out of the house by 8:15 to ensure Emma and I made it to work and camp on time. The school year will be a little easier than this camp week because I don’t leave for work until 8:45 so I’ll have about a half hour after she leaves where I can make the beds or fold laundry.
Here are the things I needed to address. I hope you find it useful if you’re also looking for back-to-school tips.
- Library books: We use our local library often, as part of our effort to buy fewer books. During the school year Emma has library weekly and brings home one to two books, so we often have multiple borrowed books floating about. I volunteered in the school library the last two years which gave me a little leeway if we forgot something. But I don’t think my schedule will allow for it this year so now borrowed books from the school library will need to go back when they are due. Now these books have their own designated spot. I’m going to have Emma make a sign for it.
- Homework: Homework is often a tense time in our house, mainly because of math. Even though I have an office tote which is well-organized, I’d prefer to have a little stash of supplies nearby that are just for Emma. Nothing makes a stressful homework session worse than having to scramble around for glue and markers. I was going to use a basket but this little vase seemed to make more sense. We need to add some more items.
- Breakfast and Snack Station: Emma is more and more independent and wants to take on more so I’m going to give it to her. Last year a few times she fixed her own breakfast and even made her own sandwiches, and she was so proud of herself. I set up an area where she can choose a cereal and she can also pack her own snacks. If she can address those things I can get her sandwich made. We have bins in the fridge for fruit and perishables.
- Outfits: Most mornings, I find myself ironing pants. I don’t want to iron pants in the morning. I don’t want to iron anything, ever, but this is not an option. So I’m designating Sunday nights for ironing for the whole week. Typical mornings include ten minutes in denial over needing to iron and about five minutes doing the ironing so this will save fifteen important minutes.
I’m using a couple empty baskets which have been taking up space. I wanted to have them gone already, but there’s a donation pickup Tuesday so all the extra baskets and containers will go with that load. And then we’re back to school!