Back-to-school time is a busy time for most parents as they prepare for the new academic year ahead.

Between required school forms, homework, projects, and after-school activities, there is always a lot going on. As a mother of a high-schooler and soon-to-be first grade twins, organization is a must for daily responsibilities.  The following are tips to assist in balancing school work with different aged children in the house:

 

  • Create a dedicated work space for each student (or by grade level). No matter the size of a home, a space that is set aside for homework can be designed for each child or by grade level (if you have twins or more than one in the same grade). A first grader will need more desk space for crafts and manual projects, and a soon-to-be highschooler will need a more grown up area with space for a computer. Assigning each child their own area to do their homework will make everything go smoothly and allow for everyone to better concentrate.

 

  • Color-coordinate each student’s information. Trying to keep up with important information, paperwork and homework while having students in the same school but different grades, or having students who are each in different schools, can be overwhelming. A tip is to color-coordinate the school information for each student. For example, my identical twins will be entering first grade this upcoming school year and will most likely be in different first grade classrooms. To help ease any possible confusion, each twin will have his schoolwork located in bins or folders with a color assigned to each of them. My high schooler will have a color-assigned large bin with drawers to help reinforce organizational skills, which are important in the years ahead to help prepare for college.

 

  • Minimize distractions. While your kids concentrate on homework, technology should be limited to only school-related work. Television shows, app games, loud music and social media use (texting or chatting with friends online) can cause distraction during study time. Parents should try to monitor students while they are doing schoolwork online to ensure that non-educational sites are not being used. Try turning off the television, tablets and online music during homework time.

 

  • Keep a family calendar. To help maintain everyone’s schedules, make a daily calendar with everyday events and obligations, such as time to get up, taking the kids to school, pickup and drop-off at after school events and meal time, especially if the family is not eating together because of after-school activities. Post the family calendar (either a daily or weekly view) in a high-traffic area in the home.

 

Even with these organization tips, hectic times will occur, but hopefully in a less stressful way. A quick and nutritious breakfast for those busy back-to-school days is a Tampico Marvelous Mango Smoothie.  It’s an easy and tasty way to jumpstart the day.  An organized routine will help keep the entire household on the same page, and help prepare for the new school year ahead.