Monday, August 13, 2018

Simplify your School Year

We have a week to go before the kids go back to school. In some ways I'll be spending this week trying to hold on to the last remnants of summer. In other ways I am craving a return to our routine. I've been running the kids around all over the place this summer. Part of the reason is to give them a fun and enriching summer, but honestly it's mostly to keep them occupied because Ken and I both work full-time.

This school year will be an interesting one for sure! We are going to have a kid in elementary school, one starting at a new middle school, and the oldest starting high school. I've already had a taste of the juggle that will be involved with the registration appointments we had last week. It's a fairly small school system, so you'd think they could coordinate things a little better, but NOPE!

I know it's going to be a lot to keep track of, so I'm setting myself up for success by trying to be really organized before we even get started. And when I saw our August theme for Blog With Friends was "Simplify Your Life," I knew exactly what to do.

In years past I've created some other ways to stay organized during the school year: a pencil can for Frances, a binder with all the important information in it, and a cubby system to keep all the stuff organized. This year, however, what we really need is a way to keep all the important dates organized in an easy to see place.

I've used an online calendar app called Cozi for a while now. It's great because Ken and I can both see it on our phones or computers and it syncs automatically. We have now reached the point where the kids need to see what's going on, but don't have ready access to smart phones to check on things.

While we were at Staples doing some school supply shopping, my eyes were drawn to a big dry erase calendar. I chose one that had space next to the calendar to write in, as well as a cork board underneath. I picked up a few other supplies and an idea was born.

I put the calendar in the foyer so it's easy to see as we leave the house. I wrote out the dates for August by checking the Cozi calendar as well as all those stray papers that have been getting sent home lately. Each kid picked out a color scheme and I labeled their events with magnets in that color. I also found some "cubicle clips" that have pins in the back to stick to the cork board and a clip in the front to hold papers. The cubicle clips and the magnets come in the same colors, so each kid can tell at a glance which things pertain to them.

The day after I put this up on the wall and showed it to the kids, Frances came home from her camp and clipped something to my clip underneath the calendar. "What's that?" I asked her. "It's a paper you need to sign for tomorrow," she replied. SUCCESS!!

Need some other ideas for how to simplify your life? Check these out!

Karen of Baking In A Tornado has Skillet Cordon Bleu Dinner. Start with a packaged rice mix, add leftover chicken, ham and vegetables for a quick and simple dinner in no time.

Dawn from Spatulas On Parade presents Parmesan Ranch Chicken. Simple easy recipe that doesn’t complicate our busy lives

Tamara from Part-time working Hockey Mom shows us her KEEP - DONATE - TOSS Buckets. Declutter areas of your house by using the tried and tested method that she calls keep, donate or toss.

Lydia from Cluttered Genius has a Simple (On-a-budget) Laundry Room Update. The house is from the turn of the 20th century, but the decor doesn’t have to be. An easy and on-a-budget update that even *I* could manage!

Jules of The Bergham Chronicles listsEasy Ways to Keep Your Family Organized and on Track. A list of ways to keep your family running like a well oiled machine, especially during busy times.

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