You’ve got the shopping done and the kids have started school, but NOW what do you do? Sometimes that first couple of weeks is the hardest part of all as everyone gets adjusted to new routines and situations. In part two of our back-to-school series, let’s go over your two best weapons—the “family binder” and “Sunday planning.”
Find Information Quickly with a Family Binder
What do you do with all of those papers coming home from school? You probably have the school nurse policies, the student handbook, the bell schedule, the bus schedule, and each teacher’s policies for grades and make-up work. The family binder is the answer!
Get any 3-ring binder you like (you can probably find several choices at a Goodwill® store), and get some extra-wide divider tabs that are available at office supply stores. These extra wide dividers will allow you to still see the tabs sticking out from the rest of the papers even if you use sheet protectors or have larger sheets inserted.
Here are some suggestions for sections you can create with these tabs:
- Activities (sports schedules for practices and games, other kids’ activity information)
- School (all of the reference papers they send home)
- Family (health and safety information for each family member and pets, plus clothing sizes, etc.)
- Home Maintenance (information about your home, filter changes, inspections, vendors)
- Child Care (day care policies and info, babysitter info)
- Travel (checklists for packing and preparation)
You can also print out a current list of frequently called phone numbers to give everyone in the family a place to look when they need this information.
Save Time with Weekly “Sunday Planning”
You can save literally hours of time and lots of stress by taking a few minutes each weekend to plan the week ahead. Here are the things to focus on during your planning time:
- Calendar (what is going on this week for you and your family)
- Carpool (who is taking whom where and when)
- Cooking (what’s for dinner, making a shopping list)
- Chores (who is cooking and doing dishes, etc.)
- Children (who is assisting with homework, bathtime, bedtime, and do you need a sitter?)
Managing this information and doing your planning faithfully will pay off with smoother, calmer school days. As the old proverb says, a stitch in time saves nine!