School is upon us. And if you feel lost already hang on! Without some organization life could really go downhill.
The biggest mistake is waiting until school starts to try to get organized. There are just four days left until the first day of school, but a lot can still be done to get your family prepared.
"I just really suggest trying to talk to the kids and explain to them why it's so important to go ahead and get things ready so they will feel that confidence they will feel happy to go be with their friends and their new teacher," said Becky Laney, mother of three.
Laney has one child in fifth grade, another in third, and another in kindergarten. When it comes to getting organized for school, she gets the children involved.
"We have bought out lunch boxes and our backpacks and the kids are helping me choose some items for breakfast menu for the week," she said.
Mandy Fox, enrichment teacher at Greystone Elementary School in Hoover, says children return to school with more confidence and less stress when there's organization at home. Fox says the first step is simple, but one of the most important.
"One of the greatest things you can do it sit down with your child and make a check list of things you need to know or have ready for the first day of school," said Fox.
Next, purchase a calendar and let your children take ownership.
"Let a child design their school day routine calendar and put it up in a family spot where they can see it. Use magnets or check marks or stickers," said Fox.
"We talked about do you want to do boy scouts or girl scouts. Do you want to do robotics,"
Beyond calendars families must tackle closets. Clothing that works for summer may not pass for school.
"There's nothing worse than walking in the door and thinking you're all cute and getting pulled because it's not appropriate," said Fox.
"We have planned our first outfit for the day. Trying to figure out what's appropriate and what's not appropriate," said Laney.
Laney and Fox agree that waiting until the first day of school to wake up early is not ideal. They suggest having a morning routine run-through.
"To wake them up on that first day early when they're not used to it and they've been sleeping late, that can just throw a child off. They can be really emotional and not have a great first day."
Parents, remember you need to answer these questions:
Does the entire family know the plan for drop-offs and pick-ups? Are the children allowed to ride home with friends, or ride the bus? Whatever the plan, make sure school officials are aware.
"It's required that a parent send it in writing unless there's an emergency. Most schools operate that way because they're concerned about the children's safety,"
Laney and Fox say being organized doesn't mean you won't encounter the unexpected. But it will give your children a solid foundation for the start of a new school year.