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As the summer season comes to a close and parents prepare to send their children back to school beginning in August, they may be feeling a bit overwhelmed. Gone are the days of late nights and sleeping in, as more structure needs to make its way into your routine. If you are a bit worried about getting your family back on track, these four simple tips can help. 

Create a responsibility chart for all members of your family to follow, using a fun excursion or special treat as a reward!

Children typically associate homework assignments or various chores around the house as something negative. As such, they rarely want to complete them. However, if you set up public responsibility charts for each family member, your child will recognize that everyone in your family has a part to play. Best of all, if everyone completes their weekly assignments, consider treating the whole family to something special you can enjoy together!

Before school begins, take time to de-clutter your home – maximizing space and alleviating unnecessary stress for you and your family.

It is difficult for children and adults to focus when they feel their home is inundated with stuff. Pick a specific location within your home, and spend just 20 minutes a day determining what to keep, donate, or discard. Your home will be cleared out in no time! If you have more oversized items that are difficult to place, such as camping gear, sports equipment, or seasonal decor, considering renting a self-storage unit nearby. With sizes to meet any need and prices to meet any budget, finding one is easy (and won’t break the bank).

Build a cubby space to keep school gear, and supplies contained to one area of your home for easy access.

Take a little time to set up a small cubby area for each child containing hooks for their backpacks and jackets, bins for their shoes, and a place where they can store supplies they need for homework and crafts. This will help keep school items contained (and easily accessible for the next day) while limiting the number of things spread throughout your home.

Demonstrate a love for learning yourself – children copy what they see!

American novelist and Academy Award Winning Screenwriter John Irving once said, “With every book, you go back to school. You become a student. You become an investigative reporter. You spend a little time learning what it’s like to live in someone else’s shoes.” Show your children that you love to learn too by modeling what it is like to do so! Let them see you tackle a new hobby, read a new book, or watch a documentary about something you never knew before. 

By creating enthusiasm around responsibility, taking time to declutter (through sorting, self-storage, and cubbies), and expressing love for learning, this new school year is bound to be your best one yet.

We wish you a school year filled with laughter, love, and learning!