Going back to school after the less-structured, play-driven days of summer can be a startling transition for kids and parents alike! I have four kids heading back to school, and over the years, we’ve developed handy habit-tracking tips for getting them organized and ready for another awesome academic year.
Start them planning early!
With more structure and more responsibilities, kids have a greater need for organization and routine. My daughter started using a LifePlanner™ when she was just 12, and having that process in place has been so beneficial for her as she juggles college applications and ASB meetings. I’m so excited to introduce even younger generations to the power of paper planning with our Kids Planner! Getting your kids to embrace organization at a young age is a huge step towards setting them up for a successful future!
Use a habit tracker to help kids be responsible for their routine.
Developing a routine and checklist for kids, especially in their more formative younger years, is a wonderful step. Habit trackers come in various forms, but the one I found works best is in a color-coded checklist layout.
A habit-tracking checklist is an excellent tool for teaching kids how to take more control and ownership of their own responsibilities, without you having to guide them every step of the way. It holds them accountable and frees up more of your time while building confidence in their ability to get things done, which is a win-win!
To create your kids’ habit tracker, you can use a checklists journal or a Wall Organization Center Checklist Board. Depending on what works best for your family, you can organize the habit tracker by time of day (morning, afternoon, night), by each child’s name, and so on.
Embrace the power of color!
I’m crazy about color! It’s the cornerstone of my company, my personal organization system, even my fashion sense! Color-coding is a simple, fun & effective way to help kids track their habits, organize their school and extracurricular activities, and even help with overall family organization.
A monthly family schedule is essential to family organization. When marking appointments, due dates, practices & games and other important dates, use different colors for each family member. This makes it so much easier to read and track multiple schedules at a glance.
Use color-coding to help kids organize their school papers.
Color-coded stickers, labels and folders are a great way to help kids keep their backpack organized and track which papers need to be signed, handed in, etc.
Teach kids time management with a stress-free timer.
A lot of us still struggle with time management, so this is a tip we can all use! As for kids and time management, the earlier they learn it, the better.
Start by giving them an appropriate amount of time to complete their tasks (homework, tidying their rooms, getting ready for bed, etc.). Then, help them manage that time using a simple, stress-free (and unplugged!) timer like a 10-minute, 20-minute or 30-minute hourglass.
Consider a child’s learning style when teaching them organization.
We all have our own way of seeing the world and processing information. When customizing an organization system for kids, take their learning style and personality into account to make it more effective and easier for them to internalize and apply what they’ve learned in school and outside the home.
Be patient with the kids and yourself!
Getting kids to switch from a summer routine to a fall routine with school, homework, etc. takes time, flexibility, lots of adjustments here and there and a ton of patience. But it pays off big time when you realize one day that the kids have actually developed effective organization habits that will make their life and yours a lot easier and a lot sweeter!