Archive for the ‘Back to School’ Category

Back to School – already?

July 24, 2012

It’s hard to believe that school starts here in Atlanta in a couple of weeks. Already there are back to school sales and all the office supply stores have their back to school displays front and center. Are you ready to have your children back into the school day routine? Maybe a better question is: Are your children ready? Did they have school work to complete over the summer? Do you know if they have finished it? If your children are in elementary school it’s a good idea to begin reviewing some of those math facts – addition, subtraction, multiplication tables and division. Another thought is to encourage your children to read for half an hour to an hour each day. Maybe they can read aloud to you while you are preparing dinner?

Is your home ready for school to start? Have you gone through last year’s school papers? If not there’s no time like the present. Have your children go through the papers (including art work) with you. Weed out everything that is not crucial to keep. So, what should you keep? Keep the best of the best – whatever that means for your child. Do not keep the daily worksheets. Think about what is meaningful – you know, the creative works, not the papers that show your child simply reciting back facts. Keep an awesome book report or a research paper. Maybe keep a mobile. You and you child can figure it out together. It’s important, though, that you make room (lots of room) for this school years papers to begin coming home. Do you have a central collection point for these papers? Maybe you should have one spot for each child? If you have wall space you can attach magazine holders to the wall – one per child, labeled with the child’s name – as a collection spot. If you start thinking about these things now when school starts you will be prepared and your child will know exactly where to put these papers!

Since summer schedule is often more relaxed your child may be accustomed to going to bed late and also sleeping late in the morning. If this is the case, you may want to start now to ease them back into a regular school time routine. Find out what time the bus will be picking up your children. Then figure out what time they will have to get up in order to have some breakfast before they catch the bus. Finally, set bedtime a little earlier each night and get them up a little earlier each more so that they can be accustomed to that routine before school starts. This will make for a much easier transition back to the regular school day routine.

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Children’s Artwork

August 24, 2011

I was at my doctor’s office today for a routine check-up. The nurse who checked me in was reviewing the information the office had on file for me. When she got to the part that indicated my profession she asked ‘really? Are you really a professional organizer?” I said ‘Yes!’ She told me she wanted to take me home with her. Generally, when I tell people what I do they either say something like ‘I need you!’ or ‘Will you come to my house?’ My response is always ‘ Give me a call when you are ready – here is my card.’ So that is how I responded to the nice nurse. I gave her my card. A few minutes later she approached me in the waiting room and told me she’d been to my website and that I have some good tips on it. I thanked her and went back to my reading. A little later she came back to me, a little hesitantly, and asked if she could pick my brain for a few minutes. Of course I said ‘Sure.’ Her question had to do with her children’s artwork. She has two chidren; one in kindergarten and one in first grade. They are coming home with lots and lots of artwork. She doesn’t want to keep it all (that’s good!) but she also doesn’t want to just toss it. What should she do? It’s a quandry… I told this really nice nurse the same thing I tell all my clients with children bringing home artwork.

Buy an album for each child. You can use a thin binder or a dedicated photo album. When the child brings home an art project ‘OOh and AAh’ then take a picture of the child holding the art. Print the picture (either at home or where ever you print photographs). Put the picture in the album and have them tell you something about the art. It can be just a title of the art piece or the date, the school year, and the teacher’s name or it can be a few sentences. Really, it’s up to you and your child.

Then, once the picture is safely in the album you can dispose of the art. This method does several things. It honors the effort the child put into creating the artwork, it keeps the piece in the child’s memory, and it eliminates the need to keep all the art in your house. Understand, though, that there may be a piece or two or three that you want to keep around for awhile – maybe for this school year. Or until these masterpieces are replaced by even better works of art!