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Blog: The Simplified Home
Back to School Tips for an Organized School Year

A new school year is once again upon us. Ugh! Is it just me, or do you dread the back to school rush too? Our summers are getting shorter and shorter every year! My kids had the shortest summer yet - just 2 months. 
As parents, we have great hopes for a smooth transition from relaxing summer days to the hustle and bustle of homework, tests, project deadlines and school activities.
It's easy to think that just by purchasing that new trendy school supply, your child will instantly transform into an ultra organized student. Although having the right tools are important to establishing an organized environment, even more important are the habits and routines we encourage in our children.
Throughout this month, I'll be discussing ways to help you simplify your life during the school year.  I will be bringing you tips on how to reward your child for sticking with the schedule and also what to do if the schedule does not seem to work.  I'll be discussing strategies for maintaining an organized desk or locker at school and setting up an efficient study space at home. Finally, I will be talking about school paper clutter.  What do you do with all those papers that come home?  How do you know what to keep and what to toss?
First up, let's consider the importance of planning and identifying past challenges for which you'd like to find a solution.
Plan, Plan, Plan First by Identifying the challenges
As you ponder how to best help your kids be more organized (and therefore, more successful) in school (and in life), consider what has troubled them (and you) the most in the past. Once you identify their challenges, concentrate on simple solutions, and watch them reach new academic heights. Here are some common student organizational challenges and solution paths.
CHALLENGE:  Struggling to complete homework. There is no defined study area and/or time. School supplies are hard to find and family noise and activities are distracting.
SOLUTION: Determine when and where your child will do after-school homework. Set up a homework "command central" that includes all the supplies and tools needed.
CHALLENGE: Time management issues, such as turning in assignments late, being frequently late for school or activities.
SOLUTION: Teach your child how critical it is to use a student planner and  calendar to track activities, upcoming tests, and assignment due dates.
CHALLENGE: Difficulty maintaining a clean desk or locker, resulting in disorganization at school, like lost homework and books.
SOLUTION: Pop in before or after school periodically to help your child organize his desk or locker. Give older children proper tools and advice to organize their desks and lockers.  Teachers are beginning to understand the connection of organization and grades, and often plan desk and locker clean out days throughout the year.
If you notice your child struggling because of disorganization, don't wait until it's too late to give or get help. Disorganization has a snowball affect - it negatively affects grades and your child's sense of control, which can then negatively affect their self-esteem and confidence. Discuss these issues with the teacher, create a strategy for open communication and success with your child, and consider bringing in a professional organizer for added guidance, support, and creative ideas.
Here are some suggested tools to help both parents and kids to get an organized start to the new school year:
Mom, Can I Help Around the House?
Mom, Can I Help Around the House - the beauty of this system is the routines and habits it establishes in your household. Find this book and system here on Online Organizing.
By the Book - How to Take Care of My Kids - bythebook-front-cover-2 
Use this organizer if your kids have after school care, a tutor or caregiver. It's great for organizing babysitter information as well. Find this child care organizer at The Simplified Home. 
These action specific clips will help your student organize his work by action - To Do, Read, File, Send (could designate papers to send to school). Find them here on Online Organizing.
Next up Tips for organizing your daily school schedule

posted on: 8/31/2009 10:00:00 AM by Janet Nusbaum, The Organizing Genie
category: Homes

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The Simplified Home

by Janet Nusbaum, The Organizing Genie

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About Janet:

Janet Nusbaum creates calm out of chaos, and loves bringing serenity and order to overwhelmed households, cluttered offices, frazzled parents, and transitioning seniors and families. Janet, President of Simplified Spaces & The Simplified Home, is an Organizing Consultant, Senior Move Manager, Author and Speaker.

She is the author of "Mom, Can I Help Around the House?" A Simple, Step-by-Step System for Teaching Your Children Life-Long Skills for Pitching-In & Picking-up".

She is a proud member: National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) & National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization (NSGCD)

Visit our blog - www.TheOrganizingGenie.com, and sign-up to receive our special report "SHELF LIFE OF 75 COMMON HOUSEHOLD ITEMS. Use this report to decide what to keep and what to toss ... then TAKE ACTION!!

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