A Fresh Start: Getting Organized in the New School Year – August Spotlight
The start of a new school year signifies a reset for most families – a chance to regroup and get organized for the learning ahead. After many weeks of relaxed schedules and fun outings, it is important to get settled into new routines quickly. It is not too late to get started for this year!
Getting started can be overwhelming! Let us help you with a few tips. First, we encourage you to begin by evaluating the previous school year. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Did my children have adequate study and homework time?
- Did my children get in bed on time most nights?
- Were we able to sit down often and enjoy meals as a family?
- Were we satisfied with the time our family spent with God – in church, church-related activities and Bible study time?
- Did we have the chance to get away and enjoy a family vacation?
If you are not happy with your answers to the questions above, it’s time to restart and refresh. We encourage you to begin by creating a clutter-free environment. Whether your environment is your home, your office or a combination of the two, dedicate time to cleaning out the closets, drawers, countertops and even walls. Studies indicate that organized individuals are more efficient and less anxious.
Once you’ve eliminated the clutter, spend time comparing everyone’s schedule. List each family member’s activities into one calendar to see the household impact of a particular sport, extracurricular activity or even part-time job. Eliminate those things which aren’t necessary and will cause undue stress and tension in the home. Remember! Children get just as anxious and stressed as adults. A built-in break in everyone’s schedule is a must-do. If there’s not intentional down time scheduled for each family member, an activity will surely fill its place! A family calendar displayed prominently in your home or an app that allows everyone to have access to family activities is a great idea.
In addition to scheduling everyone’s activities, determine if there are any steps that you can take to improve communication with your child’s school or with your child about school activities. Being up-to-date (or even ahead) on school projects, happenings, etc. allows you the chance to schedule these items. It’s always best to schedule time to purchase needed materials, work on the project and even move around other activities to accommodate deadlines, etc. than suffer the consequences of not knowing until the last minute.
It’s never too late to hit the restart button! Simply stated, examine what works and lose what doesn’t for your family. The ultimate goal is to have happy children with the confidence to tackle school work, the social scene and whatever comes their way. Being intentional about scheduling the important things, and teaching them how to do the same, gives them the tools needed to succeed this school year and in the years to come.