Back-to-School Planning + Homework Tips for a Great Year

schoolReady or not, it is time for our fall routines! For many of us that includes tracking – and balancing – school, sports, and family time. If there is a way I can make it a bit easier – and give the kiddo some ownership – I am all in.

Whether school starts next week, or this is Week 3 of the new year, now is the perfect time to look at what has worked, what hasn’t, and what just might. This pair of suggestions can help learners of all types and ages.

The best way to make something stick is to get the kids invested in the process and take ownership of your expectations. So we have included a way to do that with each suggestion. 

Daily Routine Checklist

There is a lot that goes into getting ready for school in the morning, and then handling any related tasks in the afternoon. It is never too young to get organized, and checklists offer very easy, visual ways to show what is expected and also what’s done.

Work together with your child to create the list. Trust the kids to come up with a design that works for them.  It may be that a new printed page is best, but they might also have some great ideas on a “reusable” list, too.

  • Write the list on poster board and draw Xs or checkmarks on Post-it Notes to move into and out of place each day.
  • For younger children, use pictures alone or add a “label” so they connect the written word with the object.
  • Agree on the best place to post the Routine Checklist in a spot where they will see and remember to use it. 

Not feeling creative? A simple web search will help you find lots of printable daily routine checklists for kids.

Homework Space

Why recreate the wheel? This New York Times article, How to Help Your Child Study, has everything you need to set boundaries that keep kids focused and supplies contained! These ideas draw on the concepts in the article to help you get “buy-in” and figure out what works.

  • Talk about study habits – what is easy? What is hard? What distracts you (music, tech, etc)?
  • Ask your child to explain to assignments and help them break big projects into smaller tasks.

Something not mentioned – but which we learned was important in our house – is doing something physical first. After sitting all day and a bus ride, our kiddo needed to move around. Instead of screens and a snack, it was some type of movement – preferably outside. Then, after 30 minutes, she was more ready to tackle homework.

Here’s to a great school year!