by Robin Layton
Are you ready for those child-sized, after-school tornadoes to hit your home? Well, they are coming! As the first day of school gets closer, it’s a perfect time to take a look at your space and ask yourself if it’s a place your student can flourish … and catch the bus on time.
Let’s start at your front door during the afternoon. The first thing a child will do is shed that backpack, sweater or coat. If your home doesn’t have a mudroom or nearby closet, consider rolling bins placed by the door and make it a policy to stow outdoor clothing there … along with the umbrella, because it does rain sometimes in Arizona!
A hungry child’s next stop after school will be the kitchen. If there is room available, consider putting a child’s desk in the corner with a nice lamp. This might keep your child from feeling isolated when he or she get sent to his or her room to do homework. It also makes sure you can keep your child on task. The kitchen table, if well lighted, is also the perfect homework spot.
It won’t take long for your calendar to fill up with school meetings, events, festivals and extracurricular activities and sports. To keep your family on track, a corkboard in the kitchen will do wonders. Let your child know this is where permission slips, flyers and other important documents will live.
Mornings are often a huge challenge for working parents with school-aged children. You need to make sure they eat breakfast, have their lunch or lunch money, the backpacks are filled with the necessary books, appropriate clothing is in place, permission slips, gym clothes, uniforms and homework are ready to go.
Having a place for everything can make those mornings run smoother. Give your child the responsibility of getting their supplies together for the day.
Clear out a drawer in the kitchen or low shelf in your pantry, and put in an inexpensive plastic organizer. Keep snacks like granola bars and other healthy treats for your child to add to his lunch or to grab after school.
We’ve all been there … your child tells you at 8:05 a.m. they are out of lined paper. Or pencils. Or they need a special folder. Be a Morning Hero and have a school supply stash ready, hidden in a drawer or closet.
Let’s not forget those mysterious disappearing shoes. Use your cubby spot near the front door for the kids to kick off their school shoes and store their sports equipment. You really don’t want a call at work that your child’s baseball glove is not with your budding sports star.
You don’t need to be the world’s greatest organizer to provide a sense of order in your home. Small adjustments like these can keep your child focused on school work when needed and free up the entire family so you can share more special moments together … rather than shimmying under a bed for that sneaker.