The Parent To-Do LIST
It’s August, and that means many families are gearing up for back to school. Here is a list of items every parent can do to make the transition back to school easier for students of all ages. Remember, Great Preparation = Success!
Each family should have two types of calendars — a digital one and a paper/wall calendar. The digital calendar, google or iCal, is detailed with exact times/dates/locations. The wall calendar provides a visual for your family, which anchors them to time and dates. It will include general events such as the start of school, a wedding, a sporting event, routined extra-curricular classes.
Here’s your list for this section:
- Set up your google calendar or iCal for each member of your family. Go to your child’s school calendar and input dates for the year into your calendar. See if there is a way to share calendars or update calendars so that you do not have to input each date manually. Get your older children involved in sharing their calendars with you — teach them the basics of digital calendaring including how to input an event, a repeating event and how to put in locations and invite others to events.
- Buy the wall calendar and post in a central location. The kitchen is a pretty popular spot for many families. Have your children help you put in the key dates for the first few months of school. This will provide them security for the transition back to school as well. If you have more than one child, choose a color for each one.
2. Organize Your Stuff
Before school is a great time to get things organized. I have a few key rules for organization. You can use this as your to-list for this section.
- No one should own more things than they can take care of.
- Everyone should learn how to organize their things by sifting and placing (dump everything from one category into a pile and keep what you love and what serves a purpose – give away/throw away all else; and then place back what you will keep into ONE place).
- Maintenance of organization is the hardest work and needs time and a personalized strategy to be successful. For children, it is important to build time into their schedule to enter dates into calendar, place new items into spaces, or tidy up messy areas.
After you’ve gone through what you have, you should spend time gathering what is needed for the start of school. Most schools have supply lists. You can also read our blog on suggested school supplies.
Involve your child in the process of buying clothes, back packs, and school supplies because it allows them to transition well back to school.
4. Complete Paperwork
Ah, the fun part of the back to school time for all parents is here!
- Go grab a file box and start to pile up the forms you need to fill out. Teach your children to place forms from school into these trays.
- Create a folder on your desktop to house digital forms such as medical records and other pdf documents.
- Invest in a quality scanner to help you digitize forms you want to keep. This will also help your children to scan homework assignments and other documents.
5. Get Into Routines Again
About 2 weeks before school begins, it is important to get students back into school routines. They will need to have this time to get into the rhythms of sleeping, eating, and working.
- Establish bedtime routines and morning routines. If you want tips on how to do this, read a blog I wrote about how to establish morning and afternoon routines for some additional ideas.
- Many students need to use the two weeks before school begins to work on summer work and to boost areas of reading and math. If you need support in these areas, consider contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 917-388-3862 to book a tutor via Skype or in person during this crucial time.
Enjoy the last days of summer where ever you are! Here’s a short- hand list of the to-dos included in this blog for your reference:
- Calendar (digital and wall)
- Organize your Things (sift, place and maintain)
- Order and Shop
- Complete Paperwork
- Get into Routines Again