“School Dayz, School Dayz…..” Back to school often brings happy and excited reactions from kids and parents for very different reasons. Kids want to see their friends and parents are grateful for the routine school brings back to their daily lives! How parents can help will depend on the ages of your children. But for all kids, the biggest help is for parents to pay attention every day and help them stay organized.
Help with organization is needed when kids are in elementary grades, but even teens need you to pay attention and show an interest in their school work every evening. Of course, teenagers will tell you either “I have no homework “or “I did it in class” to get you to stop asking. I suggest you review their Planner each night and ask questions. A blank page does not mean there was no homework. Thankfully, Kaua`i middle and high schools use an online program where all teachers must post assignments given with due dates and when they are turned in. Parents and students are given passwords to the site. This helps parents see what their student has turned in, depending on how quickly teachers post completed work. Parents can even access this site on their phone, making it easier to verify what work was completed.
For your elementary school kids, go through their backpack every evening as part of your daily routine, looking at their papers and any notes from the school. (My daughter never brought home any school notes. I always had to call her BFF’s mother. My daughter is now a high school English teacher!!) Helping your child or teen stay organized is extremely important. Having a binder with divider pockets is helpful, but checking to see if they are using them and helping them declutter regularly is essential.
Do not expect your child to welcome this attention from you. In fact, they may complain loud and long every evening as you pull out papers and stuff from the bottomless pit of their backpack. Consider this “decluttering” a way to help your child stay organized. Just remember, you are helping them not get overwhelmed with their own mess and modeling for them how to be organized. And most of all, this is a clear way you can show your love by paying attention every day.