Back to School with STYLE

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"Back to school with STYLE" by Lisa Hess (CatholicMom.com)

Image credit: Pixabay.com (2019), CC0/PD

It’s here. For better or for worse, it’s that time of year.

Back to school.

If getting your kids ready to go back to school feels like a headache-inducing endeavor, maybe you just need a little STYLE.

Start with successes. Set aside that supply list and talk with your kids about what worked last year. This can be anything from the actual supplies that were used to the routine your family followed. Use the things that worked last year as building blocks to create more successes in the coming months.

Take small steps. Did that discussion about what worked turn up a few things that didn’t? While you don’t have to toss everything into the air and start from scratch, consider making small adjustments to make things run more smoothly or, perhaps implementing one small change per child. Too many kids with too many opinions? Look for common denominators or let everyone cast a vote. And, yes, parental vetoes are allowed, but keep in mind that when your kids have at least partial ownership, they’re more likely to comply.

Yes, it has a home. Together with your kids, determine where everything will go when they get home from school each day, where necessary items will be placed each night before bed and where recurring items (musical instruments, library books) will be stored. Try to take styles into account if you can (i.e. make sure your I need to see it kiddo doesn’t choose an out-of-sight spot for those library books) and consider arranging a celebration at the end of that long first week if everyone complies with the plan.

Let it go. If there’s room for flexibility, try to avoid buying supplies that haven’t worked in the past. If the supply list is non-negotiable, see if you can accommodate your child’s styles in small ways, like a see-through pocket folder for your I know I put it somewhere organizer. While you’re at it, let go of any routines, storage solutions, or homework plans that made you (or your child) wish there was no such thing as school.

Easy upkeep. This is your goal – or, more accurately, your child’s – and accomplishing it may mean taking stock periodically to see if the ideas that sounded great in August are still working in October. Involving your kids in the plan from the beginning makes it easier to hand off the responsibility as the school year goes on.

And that celebration at the end of the first week? That’s as much for you as it is for them. Creating a successful school year and creating a successful organizational plan have at least one thing in common.

It’s a process.


Copyright 2019 Lisa Hess

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About Author

Lisa Lawmaster Hess has contributed articles to local, national and online publications, and blogs at The Porch Swing Chronicles, The Susquehanna Writers and here at Catholicmom.com. She is the author of two non-fiction books (Acting Assertively and Diverse Divorce) and two novels, Casting the First Stone and Chasing a Second Chance. A retired elementary school counselor, Lisa is a lecturer in psychology at York College and enjoys singing with the contemporary choir at her church.

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