We all know what comes after all the summer fun.
The dreaded back to school list of supplies.
Even if you don't have kids of your own, you've still seen the lists or maybe you've even been asked to help supply items for the local charity's needs. Every mom dreads going up and down the aisles trying to figure out what exactly the kids need and what part of the list they might do without. Moms typically get hyped up for this dreaded trip to the store because our kids want all cutesy Trapper Keepers just because there is a really cute kitten on the front or a cool car. We are prepared to say no a bazillion times - we are DETERMINED to not break the bank on this trip to the store!
We want to make sure that we have every thing our kids need but still have enough money left over to able to still feed them at the end of the week.
Sadly enough, though, there's an important part of the back-to-school list that's often forgotten.
We only prepare for what happens at school and we neglect our homes where study, homework, rest, and recuperation is important. Most kids come home every day tired and overloaded with homework. As parents, we're responsible for providing a place for our kids to make schooling successful, so we need to prepare them with tools at home that can make this possible.
Let's look at some ways we can support this success at home.
Forgotten back to school list supply #1 - Create a work area for homework tasks to be done
This area should be a place with good lighting and an area suitable for writing. Chairs should be comfortable for extended periods of work. Try to provide extra storage space close by for school supplies kept at home. This will eliminate the need to wander from area to area to find pencils and papers and crayons, etc. etc. etc.
Forgotten back to school list supply #2 - Add a quiet reading area
A quiet area for reading is essential. With all of the electronics available to our kids now, it's more difficult than ever for them to unplug and study or just get into a good book. Providing them with a quiet area will make it easier for them to transition to reading time. This quiet area will cut distractions and provide a better learning environment. Bonus point? It will also keep your young learners separate from the busy part of the house so you can still attend to the other tasks you need to do without disturbing them.
Forgotten back to school list supply #3 - Create a dining area where the family can come together every day
When school begins, we tend to see our families a bit less. Things become busy and we just go through the motions of each day and with that, we can easily neglect interacting with our family. Dining rooms create an area that can bring together a family for even just a few quick minutes each day. It gives us a great opportunity to see how everyone's day has gone and discuss things of the day.
Forgotten back to school list supply #4 - Update your bathroom for adequate storage
It's so hard to get kids motivated to get ready for school in the morning - especially if you have one who is not a morning person (which I have)! Stock the bathroom with all the items needed for bath time. Nice, clean, fresh, fluffy towels can actually encourage and welcome bath time. Try to create an area where you can stack your towels ahead of time. This will save time running around trying to find a fresh towel. You can even add extra hanging areas for clothes so they can be laid out the night before school. This tiny step eliminates the disaster that happens when they can't find all their clothes. I know at my house it's always the uniform belt that goes missing - make a spot to lay out accessories, too.
Forgotten back to school list supply #5 - Create a place to store their book bag
Entryways can become a dumping ground in the afternoons. Kids tend to come in, drop their book bags, and keep running. Create an area to corral all their stuff. This will lessen the likelihood of misplacing the important items they bring in. Try using a bench with hooks for bags and storage underneath for shoes. Extra hooks can come in useful for hats and coats.
Forgotten back to school list supply #6 - Provide a cozy rest area
No student will ever be successful without a good nights sleep. A cozy rest area for them to recharge in is essential. Pillows should be replaced to create a comfortable night's sleep with good support. Put clean soft sheets on the bed to provide a cozy place to sleep. Don't forget the window treatments. If the room gets lots of bright natural light, try a room darkening window treatment to block unwanted light.
Start the school year off right by remembering the home back to school list. Begin your school year with a home that's adequately prepared to come home and help them be more prepared to face the next day. This will lead to a more positive atmosphere with less chaos from the start.
If your kids are a bit older and you need more help preparing a personalized space for them, you can read about college student dorm rooms here.