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.’
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).
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.
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.
Copyright © 2014 Jackie Saulmon Ramirez. All Rights Reserved.
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