Back to school means it is time to start packing lunches again, checking backpacks for papers to sign and homework. ACK! It can all seem overwhelming. I get it.
To avoid the crumpled up papers at the bottom of the backpack or the rotten apple in the lunch box, I have some tips to help you stay organized this school year. No more forgotten papers that need to be signed or lunchboxes that are growing mold. Oh no! With some simple tips, you will stay on top of it or rather your child will!
Set a Back to School Budget
Let your child choose their supplies, backpack, lunchbox and school clothes. When they care about the possessions and had to choose them with limited funds that made them make choices of this over that, they’re more likely to take care of the items. They also realize that if the items aren’t taken care of, they have to use their allowance or chore money to buy new ones. More on this later but we use Current.com to help our children with financial responsibility. (Use greenandcleanmom for 3 months free if you sign-up.)
Create an Afterschool Routine with Expectations & Natural Consequences
Set a routine for after school with expectations for your child. We use the Circle with Disney to control the Internet and on/off times. No Internet during school times and 30 minutes after they get off the bus. This provides them with plenty of time to complete the after school expectations. Here is an example.
Until the following is completed, there is no snack, TV time or INTERNET:
- Get off the bus, empty your lunch box and wipe it out.
- Put papers to sign on the kitchen counter for mom or dad to sign. Homework that needs to be looked at or notes from the teacher all go on the kitchen counter. (DECIDED ON A DESIGNATED SPOT IN YOUR HOME)
- Take homework out of your backpack and put it on the kitchen table.
- Do any chores listed.
- The expectations are set and if they’re met, they can have a snack and Internet.
- Homework time is after dinner but if there is homework on the kitchen table, I know that is where they need to be after dinner and I can shut down the Internet and turn off the television.
- When I see that the lunch box is on the kitchen counter, I know it’s been emptied and wiped out. Before bed, lunches are packed and put in the fridge for the morning. If the lunch box is not on the counter and ready to pack, they eat hot lunch the next day. Not something they choose so they are good about not forgetting to clean out the lunch box!
- No papers on the kitchen counter, there is nothing to look at or sign. I do not remind them to check their backpacks; I do not look in their backpack. I let there be natural consequences. They miss an after school event because I didn’t know about it and they did not put the note on the counter for me to read. They learn quickly to not forget important stuff.
With older children, this works for us. School in our home is the job of our children. They are responsible for their stuff, homework, papers and packing their lunches. Of course, we supervise and offer gentle reminders. The goal is to teach them responsibility and ownership of their possessions and pride in completing tasks, making good financial decisions and doing well in school.
A special thank you to Burton.com for sponsoring this post and providing my daughter with a backpack and lunchbox, she LOVES them. She also loves that she didn’t have to spend her school budget on buying them and how she is so thankful for that and will take really good care of them so she won’t have to buy new ones next year with her allowance. Thrifty!
Here is what I love:
- The colors are bold and dark, so they will not look dirty fast. In addition, they go with everything!
- They are affordable; the backpack is under $50 with a lifetime warranty! SWEET! I’m pretty sure we’re going to order one for my son because we can’t beat the price and warranty.
- There are side pockets on both the backpack and the lunchbox for my daughter’s water bottle.
- The lunchbox is insulated and easy to wipe clean.
- The backpack has a padded laptop pocket.
There is plenty of room for the winter gear plus school supplies! That’s important in the north when it snows in October!