Janine Godwin

Article Summary:

Back to school tips that help make it easier to get your child ready for a new school year.

Back To School Tips

As a parent, your time is valuable, and the more you can do in advance to prepare yourself for the back-to-school frenzy, the calmer you will be once it starts. Here are some back to school tips that will help get your child ready, and help you keep your sanity in the process:

Make sure your child's medical records, physicals and immunizations are up-to-date.
Each year a new medical form will most likely be sent home with your child, and it is required to have up to date records on file. Check that your child's immunization records are accurate. If any are required, schedule the doctor's appointment now. Why wait until the last possible minute when everyone else who is in the same situation will be trying to get an appointment? Likewise for sports physicals. Make a note of any changes to your child's health history, so you are prepared when those medical forms do come home the first week of school.

Before you shop for school supplies, check and see what you already have on hand.
Why purchase supplies you don't need? Chances are you have many of the basics tucked away and don't remember what you do have, so take a quick inventory. If you have supplies scattered in all corners of your house, take the time to consolidate them all in one area. Choose an area that is easily accessible to your children so they can re-stock throughout the year. One suggestion is to have a few medium sized plastic containers where everything can be stored. Tape a copy of the school supply list nearby or on the inside of one of the containers so you can see what needs to be replenished during the year.

Now is the perfect time to start shopping for school supplies.
Many schools will post the required supplies on their website, so take a look and print a copy. Tuck it away in your purse or car so you can refer to it at any time. If your school doesn't have a website, stop by the school and ask for a copy. No more second-guessing on what you need.

Time to update your child's clothing.
Styles changes, their taste changes, and they have grown over the summer without you knowing it. Keep an eye open for clothing sales, and take advantage of the savings. Stock up on the basics while the price is right. Any clothing that your child has outgrown can be donated if you don't have a younger child to pass it down to. Make room in their closet for a new year.

Don't have a dedicated "school center" in your home?
This would be a fun project for you and your kids to make before school starts. Find a common area in your home (usually a kitchen or family room) that you use frequently. Pick a place in this area where you can hang a calendar and a bulletin board for important reminders. Your children can decorate the bulletin board, or make a fun calendar on the computer. This will become your "school center" for papers and other important information your child comes home with. Teach your children to use this special area for school related schedules, permission slips, etc that need your attention.

Another year gone, and another is on the way.
Look through all the past year's artwork, and decide which pieces of art you want to keep, and which can safely be tossed or given to grandparents. Prepare a special memento box for the coming year's projects. You can even bring out some of the older artwork and display it if it has special meaning. If it brings a smile to your face, then enjoy it! You can always rotate the pieces you want to keep.

Choose a backpack wisely.
Be sure it fits your child well and has enough room to carry books, supplies and other items that are needed on a daily basis. Label the "inside" of the backpack, and not the outside for safety reasons. Likewise for other articles of clothing, like jackets, hats, sports equipment. Label everything with a permanent marker in an inconspicuous place.

Janine Godwin, of Nooks and Crannies Professional Organizing enjoys educating the public on the benefits of organizing. As a Professional Organizer, she also writes articles, develops interactive workshops and is a public speaker on the topic of organizing. Nooks and Crannies is located in Katy, Texas and you may contact her by visiting Nooks-and-Crannies.com

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