Kiki Interiors - Decor and Staging

Monday, August 6, 2012

Back to School Style

Ok, so it's already August and I know that parents and kids are already getting ready for back to school, some are more excited than others, too.  When it comes to back to school we all think of clothing and learning materials but what about getting our workspaces ready for back to school?

There is so much to balance and to take care of once the kids are back at school.  Homework, field trip forms, fundraising, activities etc...don't let it bog you down - get ready for it and soon!

a--Start with where you want your child doing their homework - kitchen nook, bedroom, it doesn't matter but keep the area consistent and create a space for them to work and stay organized.  Keep in mind that younger children will need more hlp and supervision, so think about that when selecting a workspace location

b-- Get the kids involved.  If they are not buying into the idea (or not understanding) it's not going to work.  Explain the importance, take them shopping with you (and let them pick some items out themselves).  Organization is an important tool in all areas and all stages in life- so let them get involved from the beginning.  This is super important with teenagers - give them some responsibility otherwise they will fight you on it because it feels forced on them.

c--Have easy access to supplies and have them organized.  A jar or box for pencil crayons, a flat surface for a laptop or just where to work, hunting around for supplies or having to clear a workspace can just add to the stress of homework.

d-- Make sure the area is well lit.  It helps to stay focused plus it is much better for the eyes.

e--Keep it clutter-free.  Keep everything in it's place - bulletin board, containers, shelves etc...and have a bit of time every month or every two weeks to clear the space - extra papers can pile up very easily and add stress to your child's workspace

f-- Visual Aids.  a large wall mounted or desk top calendar is a great visual tool to stay organized.  Write appointments and activities on the calendar.  You can even have a family calendar and colour code each person in the family (mom-red, dad-blue, etc..) Write in the activities in the correponding colour.

g--Be somewhat flexible.  Some days your child may want to read their assigned reading in a more cozy chair or work on their big science project at the kitchen table - that's ok - regular homework should be done in the regular spot.

h-- TV off.  while your child is working at home, have the TV off.  A bit of music can be ok if the volume is low and it is something like ambient or classical - not too distracting.

i-- Have a scheduled time for homework.  We have such busy lives and sometimes homework just doesn't fit.  It is best to do it right after school, but if you can't find a time that works for you and your family.  After dinner or while dinner is being prepped just try not to do it too close to bedtime

j--Keep it fun!  This is a child's workspace so let it be fun and whimsical. 

What about the other areas of the home??  The front entry or the mudroom can also be a huge organization nightmare.  Sometime having a place for everything does the trick but don't forget to teach/train your family in how to use these pieces.  Installing hooks at the child's eye level is a great way to ensure they can put their backpacks away.  A basket is a great spot for children to put their shoes (indoor or clean shoes).  If you have the space, a cloth envelope, or labeled basket for children's field trip forms, fund raising info etc is a great idea - all too often they get left at the bottom of the backpack.  But no matter what strategies you pick for your family - get a plan before they head back to school and practice (yes, this sounds silly) but in order for a routine to take hold it can take anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months to really set in, so don't get too frustrated and try not to lose your cool.  Keep at it, keep consistent and it will work.

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