Tag Archive: back to school



Of all the things we are taught as children, we are not taught to manage ourselves.  This is so unfortunate.  If we were taught how to set goals, prioritize tasks and manage our time, those habits would be instilled in us and a part of who we are by the time we reach adulthood and they would stay with us beyond that time.

In today’s faced-paced society adults are wearing a number of different hats, moving at warp speed and experiencing information overload, and the same thing is happening to our children.  They are just as busy as we are.  Students are more time crunched than ever, so  it’s more important to have a system to deal with it all.

We teach our children so many things-from how to play games and ride a bike to family tradition and culture, but we’re not teaching them how to organize and manage themselves.  Effective organizing can lead to success in school.  Missing assignments, losing supplies and forgotten homework are all results of poor organizing habits.  Replace them with healthier habits and you set your child up for success in school and beyond.  To do so, you have to instill good time and self management skills, set up space and systems for your child and yourself in your home, and give them the physical tools to support them.

To start the process, look at how your young person is spending their time.  What else is going on while they are studying or doing homework?  Are they sending instant messages via the computer or mobile phone?  Is there music playing?  These things as well as others contribute to them wasting time and, of course, taking longer to get their work done.  Sit with your child and create rules around homework.  For example, no instant messaging or phone calls while engaged in completing homework, unless it is directly related to the homework.  Set specific daily times for studying and completing homework assignments.  Make a trip to your nearest office supply and have your child choose a planner and implement its use.  It’s important to choose one that fits their time management personality, which determines whether a paper or electronic tool is appropriate.  They should get into the habit of using their planner daily and remember to set a time each week to plan for the upcoming week.  Plan with them initially; after that, let them do it themselves with your observation.

To continue the process, look to see what other habits you see that may contribute to incomplete homework assignments, lost items and the like.  Maybe things are lost because they don’t have a designated place to be. Assign a place for everything and help your child develop the habit of putting things back where they belong.

Is there a designated space for studying and is it adequate?  The space designated for studying should be comfortable, be equipped with the necessary supplies and be well lit.  If something is missing, make the necessary adjustments and be sure to enforce the rules that you established.

These tips will assist with time management, developing new habits and setting up your space to get you started.  Getting things in place at the beginning of the school year is a great step that makes way for a school year that works for your young person and for you.


Now that we have the practical things covered, let’s look at time management, habits and routines to continue the process of avoiding the back to school madness.

Look at how your young person is spending their time– What else is going on while they are studying or doing homework?  Are they sending instant messages via the computer or mobile phone?  Is there music playing?  These things as well as others contribute to them wasting time and, of course, taking longer to get their work done.  Sit with your child and create rules around homework.  For example, no instant messaging or phone calls while engaged in completing homework, unless it is directly related to the homework.  Set specific daily times for studying and completing homework assignments.  Make a trip to your nearest office supply or Franklin Covey store and have your child choose a planner and implement its use.  They should get into the habit of using their planner daily and remember to set a time each week to plan for the upcoming week.  Plan with them initially; after that, let them do it themselves with your observation.

Create additional supportive habits– To continue the process, look to see what other habits you see that may contribute to incomplete homework assignments, lost items and the like.  Maybe things are lost because they don’t have a designated place to be. Assign a place for everything and help your child develop the habit of putting things back where they belong.

Create additional routines– You’ll want to consider a few more routines.  In addition to the daily routine with a planner, consider what needs to happen while your child is still at school.  During the course of the day as they are given assignments, they can be recorded in their planner and reviewed at the end of the day before leaving school.  This way, they come home with the right books and notes to complete the assignments.  This creates another healthy habit that enables them to have the right materials to complete the task at hand and it will carry over to tasks that aren’t related to school.

Once you’ve got it all in place, this is what it looks like:  When your student makes it home, they have a space for their backpack to land and to complete the assignments they have because you’ve already designated and set up the space as I shared in my last article.  Before they begin, they can refer to the list of assignments that they made during the day and prioritize and check items off as they are completed and place them in the spot that you’ve designated for your review.  Once everything is done, they can prepare for the next day by taking what you reviewed from the assigned tray, folder or slot and putting it in their backpack to take it back to school and leaving the backpack in a chosen spot so that it’s not forgotten in the morning.  The next day, the process starts all over again.

These tools, systems and routines all come together to help support your young person and contribute to fewer lost, forgotten and incomplete homework assignments and overall academic success.  The habits created as a result of the systems and routines that you create will become instilled in them and become part of who they are, setting them up for success throughout and beyond their school years.


We teach our children so many things-from how to play games and ride a bike to family tradition and culture, and then of course, there are the things they learn in school.  We’re not teaching them how to organize and manage themselves, which is a big mistake since effective organizing can lead to success in school and keep you from losing it when it comes to getting ready for and getting through the school year.

Missing assignments, losing supplies and forgotten homework are all results of poor organizing habits.  Replace them with healthier habits and you set your child up for success in school and beyond.  To do so, you’ve got to get things organized and instill good time and self management skills in your young person, set up space and systems for your child and yourself in your home, and give them the physical tools to support them.   Here are a few tips on surviving the back to school madness.

Get the proper tools and supplies– Before the school year begins shop for school supplies.  Make sure you know your child’s schedule and what they need before you shop.  If your child is challenged with remembering which notebook is for which class, you could think about color coding the supplies.  For example, you might want to choose a blue notebook, folders, etc. for one subject and green for another.  This will make it easy for your child when it comes to grabbing the right materials for each class and it will help in getting assignments into the right folders, making them easier to locate.  Additionally, there are a lot of cool supplies that make sense for getting school lockers organized.  If there is a need, choose one that will serve your young person well.

Create a spot for homework and other papers to land-This could be a tray or stand with labeled folders inside for homework that needs to be done, homework and items for your review, completed assignments and other papers that come home.  Tailor what you create to your child’s personality.  Perhaps a tray for each category of papers would work better than a folder for each, or maybe an accordion file is the right choice.  What you set up has to be something that will work for your child, so consider their personality and the fact that they are students.

Create the routine for the paper flow-Where does homework go when it comes through the door; after it’s completed and after it’s reviewed and ready to be turned in?  When does it get completed; when does it get reviewed and when does it go into the backpack to be sure that it gets back to school?  Incorporate this routine with the rules that you set up around studying and completing homework assignments and the time management system that you put in place and you’re good to go.

Designate a space for studying– Is there a designated space for studying and is it adequate?  The space designated for studying should be comfortable, be equipped with the necessary supplies and be well lit.  If something is missing, make the necessary adjustments and be sure to enforce the rules that you established.

I’ll continue with more survival tips in my next post.


As the summer comes to a close, it becomes time to get the kids ready for school and that time can sneak up on you so quickly. When it does, there are supplies to gather, clothes to purchase and new routines to get into.  As we enter the month of August back to school becomes a reality.   Parents have their supply lists in hand as they hit the local Staples or other office supply store.

Getting your children ready for school isn’t just about buying supplies.  That’s just the tip of the iceberg.  Once they have everything they need, they have to be organized in order to have a smooth transition into the new school year and make things at home a lot easier on you.

So, where do you start to get your children and your home ready to go back to school? Here are a few things to think about: do you have a disignated spot for backpacks and books when they hit the door?  Where is homework getting done and where does it need to land once it’s done for you to check it and then for your young person to remember to take it back to school?  How are you going to make afternoons, evenings and mornings drama free?  Also, think about the challenges you have last school year.  How can you shift thigns to eliminate those challenges for the coming school year?

My next post will give you some tips on getting your home and your children ready for the coming school year and will help you keep them organized throughout the school year.  If you’ve got questions, post them here as comments to get them answered.


We teach our children so many things-from how to play games and rid a bike to family traditions and culture, but we’re not teaching them how to roganize and manage themselves.  Effective organizing can lead to succ4ss in school and keep you from losing it when it comes to getting ready for and getting through the school year.  Missing assignments, losing supplies and forgotten homework are all results of poor organizing habits.  Replace them with healthier habits and you set your child up for success in school and beyond.

To do so, get things organized and instill good time and and self management skills in your young person, set up space and systems for your child and yourself in your home, and give them the physical tools to support them.  Here are a few tips on surviving the back to school madness.  Continue reading…

Time and Space (c) 2015, 2011 [ Back to top ]