Summer can be such a freeing time for children and parents. No one has to worry about having their lunch money or signed permission slips. Moms can take a break from ensuring everyone has their backpacks, soccer cleats and math homework. Dads get a break from running carpool on the way to work.
As August winds down, the whole family senses that the freedom of summer is fading. Swimsuits are traded for school uniforms and poolside picnics are swapped out for cafeteria brown bag lunches.
A great way to ensure the family enters the school year with an organized focus is establishing various stations in the home to help minimize chaos.
Although all moms want to believe that they are starting their child’s day off with a well-rounded, nutritious breakfast worthy of the pages of a cooking magazine, in reality every family has days when breakfast is a rushed, frantic affair. Creating a breakfast station that allows family members to grab a quick, healthy morning meal is a great way to help cut down on the morning rush.
Items to include in a breakfast station include:
- Granola/cereal bars
- Dry cereal
- individual boxes of juice or milk
Many schools ask for students to bring at least one snack for the school day. Sometimes, this precious snack is not remembered until the family is rushing out the door. Having a snack station that is stored in the pantry or the fridge provides a way for kids to grab a snack as they head out for the day.
Items to include in a snack station:
- string cheese
- small carrots
- peanut butter crackers (If peanuts are allowed)
- granola bars
The backpack aisle at the local department store always looks so charming. However, those same backpacks are nothing but charming when littered around the living room floor of one’s home. Creating a backpack station establishes a place where kids can hang backpacks, put away shoes, keep outgoing papers and store items until they are needed for the next school day.
Items found in a backpack station:
- Backpacks (obviously)
- Outgoing papers (permission forms, signed homework, etc)
- Extracurricular activities materials (soccer cleats, instrument, ballet bag)
- Message board to remind family members of important dates/times
In a June Cleaver world, children rush in from a busy day at school and head straight up to their rooms to complete their homework. In reality, most kids work on homework in the kitchen while a parents cooks dinner. A homework station allows for all the needed school items to be in one handy place, creating an efficient workspace for students.
Items included in a homework station:
Before the school year arrives, create stations within the home to cut down on the chaos and to provide an organized atmosphere for the family.