Having two children in elementary school is a lot more stressful than I anticipated. Keeping track of what electives happen on which day, what projects are due, and when tests will be taken can be quite overwhelming with more than one child.
I took some time shortly after school started to get some things organized and systems in place to keep track of all of their activities. This past week I’ve started to feel overwhelmed again as I get myself back together after being sick. While I was sick the Mr. managed to hold things together like food, baths, and laundry and threw all kinds of shade to the wind about my school work organization plan . All of their papers are in a pile on the kitchen table and I feel so unorganized thinking a child has missed something or wasn’t properly prepared for a test. As I try to get order back in here with their schoolwork I thought I would share a few tips with those of you like me who might be switching up the day the light bill is due with the date of the spelling test.
Setup a Separate Email Address: I appreciate teachers who communicate well with parents. My son has two teachers and my daughter has one and on average, in a week from all three teachers I get about 10-15 emails. To ensure I don’t miss any important information amongst my Gap, and Michael’s coupons I decided to setup a separate email address where only teacher and school related correspondence comes. It has made a huge difference in keeping things and dates organized.
Color Code Each Child: My planner seems to have something written in every square. To give myself a glimpse at which child has something due on a given day I color code their activities. My daughter is pink and my son is blue. All activities pertaining to that child are written in that color and while it may seem silly it helps tremendously with planning.
Write Important Dates Down Immediately: When I go through each child’s paperwork from the day, I have my planner and pink and blue pen by my side. From conference letters to Scholastic ordering days I write those things down right then. I don’t depend on my brain to remember because that makes me crazy. I mean you are already sitting down sifting through pages of work and permission slips. It’s so simple to just transfer the information to your planner right then.
Decide What to Throw Away and What to Keep: This has been one of my biggest struggles. Who doesn’t want to look back and see budding handwriting skills on hundreds of pieces of worksheets sent home daily? I personally know how hard it is to throw away every piece of paper that your child completes in grade school, however keeping unnecessary papers makes it hard to organize and keep up with the important papers. Set up an area where you keep important papers like calendars and lunch menus so you have them within reach. I only keep artwork, and a few handwritten worksheets for nostalgia sake. I would recommend keeping the exceptionally great pieces and toss the others, when the babies aren’t looking of course.
Keep Your Child in the Loop: When the most expensive of planners fail and your phone alarm didn’t go off, never under estimate the power of a child to repeat to you verbatim what the teacher told them about turning in those boosterthon pledges and school picture payments on time.
To keep things running smoothly during the school year, create these lists weekly, and use these tips to stay organized throughout the school year.