Back-To-School Tips


Having a clock of their own gives children ownership of their scheduling and helps develop self reliability. Parents will want to guide kids until they can fully assume the responsibility.

By Jackie Saulmon Ramirez | August 5, 2015

Back-to-school time is lurking just around the corner (Wipe those smiles off your faces!) and is a favorite time of year for me, too.

Many schools send kids home with summer assignments or schoolwork in preparation for the next school year: read a book, write an essay, work on a word list, etc. It’s a good idea to speak with your child on the status of their assignment progress while there is still time.

There are several organizing items that can be handy for kids to use but my favorite are:

Alarm clocks can be an important step in responsibility for any child. If it is a clock radio they can set the time to wake up and also use the sleep timer to listen to music while falling asleep at night.

Calendars are good for planning school projects and keeping track of school events. It’s also a good way for kids to see their schedule and write notes for themselves like ‘return Joey’s bat’ or ‘send thank you to grandma.’

Having a calendar of their own helps children see the big picture; they become more confident as they begin to plan their own activities.

Bulletin boards, dry-erase boards or blackboards keep a household running well. Use it for messages, items to buy, appointments, math problems, diagrams and so on.

Sticky note pads are the greatest thing since sliced bread. Need to give kids a message, use a sticky note. Mark pages in a book with sticky notes. Stick a reminder on the front door for the children. There are more uses than you or I can imagine.

Personal files with folders can help deal with the flood of papers being lost or misplaced. Giving kids ownership of their papers and responsibility of managing them can increase self-esteem—not to mention ending the hassle of searching for things. It also takes a chore off your list, Mom and Dad! There are a dizzying variety of file containers to choose from: tall or short, wide or narrow, expensive or free cardboard box (empty detergent boxes are perfect).

Book Covers: Plastic yard goods work best and last longer but covering your child’s books with freezer paper is a good, cost-effective choice.

Plastic yard-goods are another favorite of mine. School books must be covered every year but the material is up to parents: paper, cloth or plastic. The cloth is expensive but it can be washed. Paper like freezer paper or shelf paper is cheaper but it tears. Plastic is not too expensive, is readily available, is waterproof and it’s clear.

Back to school also means buying clothing because kids grow. I read somewhere that August was the retailer’s biggest month. The good news is that thrift stores and secondhand and consignment shops do a booming business too. Yard sales save people a bundle too but they are harder to shop. The question here is whether or not your child will be a trend setter or a follower. The option is there, how much or little you buy is up to you—and your child.

The #1 tool to reduce back-to-school stress is (drum roll) getting everything ready the night before! The clothes, backpacks and lunches can all be readied at night before to prevent the morning madness. It’s the best sanity-saver and it doesn’t cost a penny.

Parenting Snippet:

Last weekend my youngest daughter Katie sent me a text with a photo of herself holding one of her power tools, looking rather tough:

“Just call me Capable Girl.”

I laughed to myself… Now where do you think she learned that?

I answered her text:

“Ha ha ha! Awesome! Signed, Capable Mom”

These are the moments that show that you have done a good job. She is doing a major move across three states on her own after teaching at a university. She’s taking another university position teaching art with her longtime partner that has taught there for the past year. Finally, their kitchen appliances will be reunited.

Have a great start to a new school year.

PHOTO: Courtesy of Sonja Langford and Unsplash.
PHOTO: Courtesy of Andreanna Moya Under Flicker/CC License.
PHOTO: Courtesy of Brandon Under Flicker/CC License.

Copyright © 2014 Jackie Saulmon Ramirez. All Rights Reserved.

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About Jackie Saulmon Ramirez

Jackie has volunteered extensively for more than twenty years in children's and families' issues with Parents Anonymous. Currently she writes for parents in the "Reminder" and the Soup to Nuts blog and "Parent Rap - Soup to Nuts" Facebook page. If you are interested in receiving the "Reminder," send her a message.
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6 Responses to Back-To-School Tips

  1. tric says:

    The day my daughter, any one of them, send me a similar text I’ll be very proud. Well done you. As for back to school, I hate it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

      I am so proud of both my girls. This one made that move across three states with all her art equipment and household goods by herself. She knows I am always concerned and that was the perfect message. As for the back-to-school frenzy, I really do miss the girls shopping for their school supplies. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

      Thank you, my good man, for sharing this. 🙂

      PS: I drove my car for the first time last week. I’ve never seen so many buttons! We will get alternate gas/brake pedals soon.

      Like

  2. Jackie
    such good sense…as always

    my best

    john

    Liked by 1 person

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