Scholastic Children’s Dictionary BACK-TO-SCHOOL BLOG TOUR: Organizing Your School Year

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on August 11, 2010

Welcome to the 10th stop on the Scholastic Children’s Dictionary BACK-TO-SCHOOL BLOG TOUR! I have the privilege of talking about staying organized through the new school year, but truth be told I am so not an organized person! So, how do I plan to organize my school year? Well, I’ll get to that, but first let me tell you about a book that should be on everyone’s bookshelf this school year – The Scholastic Children’s Dictionary:

Scholastic Children's Dictionary

The 2010 edition of the Scholastic Children’s Dictionary features more than 1,000 full-color photographs, simple sentences, illustrations, and diagrams as well as newly commissioned maps of the world, the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Central America. There are hundreds of new and expanded entries written by a prominent lexicographer as well as thousands of additional sample sentences to illustrate word usage. The dictionary includes guides on grammar, punctuation and idioms and simplified pronunciations created with real kids in mind! The new Scholastic Children’s Dictionary is an essential resource that belongs in every home, classroom, and library.

My tips for staying organized this school year:

  • Create lists — This may seem like a no-brainer, but this mama is not a list-maker, so I must remind myself to keep my thoughts organized with detailed lists. I have begun a list of school supplies needed, organizational materials I must purchase, books to buy, subjects we’re studying this year, and extra-curricular activities planned.
  • Label everything — With so many kiddos I tend to stay on the simple side, but everything from craft bins to binders must be labeled. There are some great companies that specialize in creating custom labels (watch for a giveaway, coming soon!), but a Sharpie will do just fine in a pinch.
  • Everything must have a home — Those Sharpies need a special bin, far out of reach of the little ones, and the reference books need a special place, within easy reach for individual research. Find the best place for everything and keep everything in it’s place when not in use.
  • Keep record — This is an important part of organization for us, as a homeschool family, but I believe that it applies to any family with school age children. Keeping a record of the books your children read, the tests they pass, and any other accomplishments fosters a love of learning and enthusiasm.

To help you get organized so you can kick off the new school year with ease, enter to win a Scholastic Children’s Dictionary and a $100 Target gift card to purchase essential organizational tools! Just leave me a comment here with your best school year organizational tip. A random winner will be chosen on August 31st and notified by email shortly after.

Be sure to check out MomDot’s Back-to-School post tomorrow!

Post and giveaway sponsored by Scholastic

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{ 230 comments… read them below or add one }

Brooke D. August 20, 2010 at 3:45 am

I have all lunches made the night before and clothes laid out. It feels good to be ready in the morning so I can sit with then and enjoy breakfast before they are off to school!

Thanks!

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susitravl August 20, 2010 at 12:23 pm

Definitely have to make lunches and lay out clothes the night before. Kids are responsible for setting their backpacks and shoes by the door. Those things really help with the frantic rush to get out the door – none of us are morning people.

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Heather McDonough August 20, 2010 at 12:52 pm

We go school shopping on the weekend when it’s tax-free.

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sarah d. August 20, 2010 at 2:00 pm

My tip – get everything ready/labeled a week before school starts, not the night before.

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nan lara August 21, 2010 at 4:03 pm

have everything in the kids bag the night before and the bag ready by the door for the morning
nannypanpan at sbcglobal.net

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Jacob August 21, 2010 at 8:15 pm

My best tip is to try to get as much information from the school as you can. They usually provide menus and class supply needs and sometimes even a syllabus. Those really help you get organized

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Meaghan F. August 21, 2010 at 10:40 pm

I suggest having everything set out the night before and get a planner to plan all activities.

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1993wel August 22, 2010 at 5:23 am

I go through the kids’ backpacks as soon as they get home from schol, and then we put the backpacks by the front door and as homework is finished it is put right into the backpack.

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MaryBeth I August 22, 2010 at 7:01 pm

don’t wait until the last minute!
MaryBeth I´s last [type] ..Gatorade- Kids and Sports

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Melissa O. August 22, 2010 at 7:11 pm

My tip is to keep lists and check everything over. That includes getting homework done, what and when projects are due and even what clothes and supplies you need. I’m a list keeper for everything. I keep everything on a list app on my phone.

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kelly wakefield August 22, 2010 at 7:32 pm

Get everything ready and set out the night before – saves time in the morning!

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Coleen L August 22, 2010 at 9:21 pm

My tip would be to keep a visible calendar posted with countdown days to important events or deadlines. It keeps me from forgetting important things and also the not-so-important things as well!

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Kim August 22, 2010 at 11:20 pm

My best advise for organization is using a planner! That way everything will stay in check! :)

Kim
Kim´s last [type] ..Surfin Saturdays- Blog Hop Week GFC Follow!

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Ashley August 23, 2010 at 1:14 am

have clothes ready and backpacks + anything needed for after school activities already loaded in the car the night before

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Karen Salstrom August 23, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Hi! Got your blog info from a friend in Lincoln (CA). We’re private home-schoolers. DICTIONARIES: WOW, I could write a BOOK on them (LOL)! Actually, words have always been my best friend. I’m a writer and a songwriter. I have both actual book-form dictionaries, thesauruses, etc. and a great song writing program that has built in dictionaries. My thirteen year old has a few as well, though we are really hoping to get a Webster’s 1828. Anyway, great fun looking at your website! Have a great school year.

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Laura August 23, 2010 at 4:17 pm

A family calendar to keep everything straight. We have decided to try Google’s calendar this year since then my husband can see it and add to it from work. (Now I just need to upgrade my phone so I can see if while I am out and about.)
Laura´s last [type] ..August Giveaway at Laura’s Left Hook

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Pat August 23, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Have lunches, homework and clothes ready the night before.

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Ashley R August 24, 2010 at 2:09 am

To help stay organized, get as much done on weekends as possible, so there is less to stress about during the week. This will help mornings go smoother, and help mommy’s sanity too! :)

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Jenny @ Freebie Spot August 24, 2010 at 10:29 am

My best organizational tip is to SHOP EARLY. It drives me crazy when people shop the day before school.
Jenny @ Freebie Spot´s last [type] ..10 Free Pampers “Gifts to Grow” Points

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Jennifer Short August 25, 2010 at 12:55 am

Have a box where you put all the school supplies you buy all year long that are on clearance. Then you can save tons for next school year (for instance do next year’s back to school shopping in mid September for pennies.) Knowing where everything is saves so much money!

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nikki August 25, 2010 at 4:19 pm

The best time to go school shopping is on the weekend when it’s tax-free.

nickieisis3@gmail.com

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Susan C August 25, 2010 at 6:10 pm

I have a bench near the door where we put everything that needs to go out-lunch money, library books, etc., so we don’t have to search in the morning.
smchester at gmail dot com
Susan C´s last [type] ..My new grandson!

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debbie August 26, 2010 at 10:26 am

I have a large basket for each child near the door we enter and exit. It is large enough for their backpacks, lunch boxes, and assorted thins they need to get to school. Works great – even when I find “lost” items around the house I have a place to put them.
debbie´s last [type] ..Maybe This Is Why Kids Like To Move Back To College Without Their Parents

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Ravzie August 26, 2010 at 11:32 am

I recommend folders for everyone in a rack in a visible place.

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Patricia August 26, 2010 at 3:42 pm

The best tip is to have everything packed the night before: bookbag and lunch.

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Katherine M. August 26, 2010 at 9:43 pm

I have a dedicated space for all the must take with you items – backpacks, coats, lunches. Without this, I find it impossible to be organized. Sounds like a no-brainer, but I’ve tried without and we were always forgetting things.

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Anne August 27, 2010 at 8:49 am

My best tip is to get your kids a planner once they are in 4th grade, so they can start learning to organize themselves.

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Deanna G. August 27, 2010 at 9:14 am

My best school year organizational tip would be to keep different classes/subjects separate. Like have particular folders, notebooks or even binders with all the things you need for each class.

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Aisling August 27, 2010 at 12:50 pm

We pick out clothes (and shoes) the night before and make sure they’re handy for morning. There’s a special spot for all books, backpacks, etc. and that’s where everything must be placed before going to bed.

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Elizabeth Young August 27, 2010 at 2:29 pm

I lay out all his clothes AND mine the night before.

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Lori August 28, 2010 at 8:53 am

I like to have the next days items, (clothes, homework etc) organized the night before, try to keep up with emptying the backpacks etc daily when the kids come home

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Paul August 28, 2010 at 11:24 am

Always have a little calendar handy…a good low-tech printed one that never has battery failure and can survive a drop from most any distance.

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Deanna August 29, 2010 at 12:30 am

Lay out clothes and pack backpacks/lunches the night before so everyone’s morning runs a little smoother.

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Kimberley W August 29, 2010 at 1:49 am

Have a bin/inbox near to the front door where your child(ren) put their homework assignments and any school paperwork as they come in the door. This ensures these items won’t get lost, as well as ensuring you get to see everything you’re supposed to!!

Many thanks!!

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Kate August 29, 2010 at 2:58 am

Can’t say enough about lists. Invest in a good portable calendar and make a LOT of lists. Its a good way to keep track of what you need to get so you don’t forget anything!

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reallycool31 August 29, 2010 at 11:06 am

Pack lunch the night before and personally check the book bag to ensure that all homework is located and completed.

Thanks for sponsoring the contest !

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Sonya Sparks August 29, 2010 at 1:10 pm

I keep everything in folders. It’s the only way I can keep up with everything.
Sonya Sparks´s last [type] ..I won at Freebies and Much More

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Hayley August 29, 2010 at 1:38 pm

My best organizational tip would be to plan well. Don’t leave things to last minute because you end up frazzled!

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Traci T August 29, 2010 at 2:33 pm

Layout everything the night before

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Jammie August 29, 2010 at 5:21 pm

We home school so back to school for us means bring out all the schooling materials we put up during the summer months. Getting organized means having our shelves set up with our new school year learning material and having the last years in boxes and ready to find their new homes.
Jammie´s last [type] ..Typical HomeSchooling Day

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Gena August 29, 2010 at 5:45 pm

Time is the very best tip. Start waking everybody up about a week before school starts and they will be well prepared when it starts and not be off-schedule

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Daniel M August 29, 2010 at 8:15 pm

prep everything the night bfore (clothes lunches etc)

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Katie R. August 29, 2010 at 9:54 pm

My best tip to keep the school week organized is to plan the meals for the week ahead on the weekend.

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Kerry August 29, 2010 at 10:37 pm

We like to lay out the clothes that we will be wearing the next day on the night before. It will save arguments in the morning!

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Mari August 29, 2010 at 10:43 pm

My best tip is to create and implement a schedule about a week or so before school starts. Establishing regular bedtimes is important too, so they don’t wake up feeling groggy and grumpy.

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Tonya Dean August 29, 2010 at 11:38 pm

I don’t have any except make sure they agree with what they are wearing the night before or you run into the situation 10 minutes before you have to leave and they say I’m not wearing this it’s ugly. Not fun.

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stephanie gregory August 29, 2010 at 11:57 pm

I have a 3 ring binder divided up for my first graders papers. Homework, Teacher notes, book orders etc. I keep a calendar page in the front so I don’t forget important dates as well. Thank you for the chance!

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neljo mullins August 30, 2010 at 12:53 am

i try to get school supply list from school early. we know who her teacher will be and get her list of supplies needed for the year. I have everything checked off and packed a week before school starts.

great tips from everyone!!!

acouponaddicted at charter dot net

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neljo mullins August 30, 2010 at 1:00 am
Caramel Cutie August 30, 2010 at 1:40 am

We get things ready the night before. Plus we have a big memo board and write down everything on it.

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chris freepartner August 30, 2010 at 5:47 am

I think the best organizational tip I have is to start getting ready earlier than you would think is necessary!

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Alice C August 30, 2010 at 8:01 am

i make a list, like xmas :0)

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julia August 30, 2010 at 10:21 am

have an established “school” area for backpacks, shoes, papers, etc.

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Jenn S. August 30, 2010 at 10:29 am

We get everything ready or at least planned out the night before. Makes morning chaos non-existent and everyone is happy when they go to school.

jas8929 at gmail dot com

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Kimberly August 30, 2010 at 10:57 am

My tip is to buy all the back to school supplies for the entire year right away; It’s no fun looking for a notebook in January. I also like to pick out the clothes the night before and stick to them. Outfits changes will quickly eat up any free time in the morning. :)

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Linda August 30, 2010 at 11:17 am

I buy all our school supplies while they are on sale and I buy extras to use during the school year.

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Linda @ My Trendy Tykes August 30, 2010 at 12:49 pm

I am definitely a list maker! I start making lists and lesson plans during the summer months (We homeschool). Also, about 2 weeks before we start back I make the kiddos start going to bed early so they can slowly get back into the routine.
Linda @ My Trendy Tykes´s last [type] ..A fun MOMMY to BE gift idea

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Paula Hafner August 30, 2010 at 12:50 pm

We put some hooks by the back door. As soon as homework is done, the backpacks go on the hooks. In the winter, their coats are hung on the hooks over the top of their backpacks. Mittens and hats are stuffed in the coat pockets. It saves time in the morning because there is no hunting for mittens or backpacks.

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Melodic Mom August 30, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Do everything early: back to school shopping, laying out outfits the night before, packing lunches the night before, etc.
Melodic Mom´s last [type] ..Amniocentesis Shows That Baby Is Negative For Down’s Syndrome!

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Lauren August 30, 2010 at 3:30 pm

My best tip is to set the clock forward slightly so the kids dont try to snooze until the last possible minute
Lauren´s last [type] ..WIN a Konad stamping nail art kit Plus coupon code!

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mike s. August 30, 2010 at 3:37 pm

My best school year tip is to keep a clean study area. Just like work and life, clutter distracts from and prohibits organized thought and productivity. You simply can’t do well in school if your room/study area is a mess.

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Valeen N August 30, 2010 at 5:10 pm

I go through the backpacks first thing when my kids get home. That way I don’t miss any important papers!

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Barbara M August 30, 2010 at 5:57 pm

We have a different color folder for each child.
That’s where they put all info that we need to see.
Pretty neat – Nothing is forgotten or misplaced.
barbara.montyj at gmail dot com

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DANIELLE WALDO August 30, 2010 at 7:12 pm

We have a bench inside near the door where the kids put thier backpacks and shoes. This saves me lots of time hunting down shoes and backpacks. Keep stuff in a designated area makes life organized and less stress.

waitressdani (at) hotmail (dot) com

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Joy Bennett August 30, 2010 at 7:44 pm

Buy a couple of pair of gym suits so one is always clean and ready.

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Julie M August 30, 2010 at 9:08 pm

Being a single working mom, I have to prepare everything the night before, lunches, backpacks, clothes, shoes. That is the ONLY way I can cope in the morning.

Juleemm2003(at)yahoo(dot)com

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Viva August 30, 2010 at 9:51 pm

I make sure on Sundays I have a week’s worth of lunch/snack supplies for the kids. This way the whole week is covered without guessing what to make. Thanks!

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Angela Winesburg August 30, 2010 at 10:01 pm

The best tip I can think of is to get as much done the night before so you are less rushed and in a hurry in the morning, thanks for the chance!

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Jessica August 30, 2010 at 10:44 pm

Have everything ready and waiting at the door the night before. My mother enforced this for me and it helped a lot, so I enforce it for my boys.

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DarcyO August 30, 2010 at 11:31 pm

Keep a special in=box for permission slips so you don’t forget them.

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Secret Burkheiser August 30, 2010 at 11:47 pm

I have everything prepared the night before (lunch, clothing, hair accessories, shoes). I also have her book sack hanging on the doorknob before we go to bed. When I do this the morning usually flows pretty well.

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Tara August 31, 2010 at 12:00 am

Buy address labels with your child’s name on it. Makes labeling all their supplies easy!

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Leah J August 31, 2010 at 12:03 am

Prep, prep, prep! Do everything AHEAD of time so it’s not total chaos in the morning! ;)

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Karen M August 31, 2010 at 12:10 am

The best way to stay organized for homework is to make sure to have enough supplies for the kids to do their homework. No excuses looking for pens, pencils, or paper. Have it all in one place in a small desk organizer.

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Michelle R. August 31, 2010 at 12:32 am

I set out the kid’s clothes the night before and put their backpacks and shoes together by the door.

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Lauren August 31, 2010 at 12:48 am

Have a place for EVERYTHING and everything in it’s place!

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Louis August 31, 2010 at 2:19 am

cross check your shopping lists to make sure you got everything

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Lentil August 31, 2010 at 3:27 am

have a calendar and message board for the whole family to see, that shows the schedule and to-dos. That way everyone is on top of what’s going on

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Jennifer Jozwiak August 31, 2010 at 3:42 am

lots of lists!

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Sonya  Allstun  August 31, 2010 at 4:26 am

get clothes laid out the night before and also keep extra coats in the car because they always forget to grab them and you notice half way to school.

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rebecca August 31, 2010 at 4:43 am

My granddaughter is not an early morning breakfast eater, so we try to settle for a protein drink or peanut butter toast in the morning. Saves time trying to find what she will eat for breakfast.

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Pamela August 31, 2010 at 7:56 am

We get everything ready the night before: lunches, clothes, notes and backpacks.

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Jason Hoover August 31, 2010 at 8:13 am

Me best tip is to always be prepared and get the kids to help. We make it a family thing and make the lunches the night before that way they get to have fun, make sure they get the lunch they want and makes it that much easier on Mom and Dad.

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Shawn August 31, 2010 at 9:59 am

Start having them go to bed 15 minutes earlier about a week before school starts so they get used to an earlier bedtime.

shawn113(at)hotmail(dot)com

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Crystal F August 31, 2010 at 10:08 am

My best tip is get everything out the night before. Go ahead and pick out the clothes they are going to wear, have backpacks packed and ready and go ahead and figure out what’s for breakfast. Mornings are hectic enough without all of this to do. Thanks for the giveaway!

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Happi Shopr August 31, 2010 at 10:27 am

We like to set everything out the night before and make lunces so that we can grab and go in the mornings.
Happi Shopr´s last [type] ..Response cached until Tue 31 @ 16:26 GMT (Refreshes in 60 Minutes)

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Jill Myrick August 31, 2010 at 11:47 am

Before going to bed of a night I get everything ready for the following morning.
I lay out each of my childrens clothes for the day, put shoes, backpacks and jackets together and set the table for breakfast.
It helps so much not to be looking for shoes, backpacks, jackets, etc. And saves us a lot of time, stress and arguing.

jweezie43[at]gmail[dot]com

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katie August 31, 2010 at 11:50 am

My best tip is to make five lunches together on Sunday night and refridgerate them!

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Lisa G. August 31, 2010 at 12:07 pm

My best tip is take your time. The more you try to rush the more messed up everything gets so relax and it will work out better in the long run. We try not to rush in the morning and find that we all end up being happier throughout the day because it starts with less stress.
lisalmg25 at gmail dot com

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Amanda S. August 31, 2010 at 12:08 pm

My best tip is to keep a separate school file for each child’s school papers.

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Amanda A August 31, 2010 at 12:59 pm

I like to label my son’s things as I put all the supplies in his backpack. It seems to cut down on things getting ‘lost’ at school.

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Marjorie Whitney August 31, 2010 at 1:24 pm

All shoes, stuff they have to carry at the front door, clothes ready to go in bathroom.

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Debbie August 31, 2010 at 1:59 pm

For older kids – middle school up. Have a 3 ring binder for each class and include sections – notes, homework, classwork, etc. If the child follows it instead of throwing things in the bottom of a bookbag everyone’s life is much easier.

theskyisblue1215@gmail.com

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Christine C. August 31, 2010 at 2:12 pm

My tip is to have a homework area. Keep pencils, paper, etc.. in one spot away from other distractions. This helps keep my kids focused on homework and not on the t.v. They also do not have to waste time looking for lost pencils or anything else they might need.

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Barbara Wright August 31, 2010 at 2:46 pm

1. Buy posterboard paper and put it aside for those Sunday nights when your kids suddenly remember that they have a project due the next day.
2. Keep all the school supplies in the same place so your kids can find them.
In the dining room where the kids do their homework, I have extra pens, pencils, scissors, tape, hole puncher, stapler, markers, paper, folders, composition notebooks, and reiniforcements. That way the kids know where they are and they won’t come to you 10 times a day.

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kimo August 31, 2010 at 2:54 pm

my suggestion is to get everything ready the night before (lunches, clothes, books..etc) Because something crazy happens every morning.

kimojax9 at gmail dot com

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Pamela S August 31, 2010 at 3:32 pm

I have a child who is very unorganized and the school counselor suggested we get a “drop spot”. She puts her backpack,etc there when she gets home. Then after she finishes homework she puts everything back into the backpack and puts it back in the “drop spot”. If she has forms to fill, or sport clothes to takes to school, or a lunch box, etc, it all goes in the “drop spot”. It easier to make sure everything is gathered up that way. It has really helped us. Thanks.

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Amy Delong August 31, 2010 at 3:49 pm

I keep everything listed on the calender in the kitchen so we do not miss/forget about anything!
ardelong2(at)gmail(dot)com

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dddiva August 31, 2010 at 4:09 pm

My best tip- do everything you can the night before- have it all loaded in backpacks- have everything ready for lunch boxes so you just have to toss and go.
dddiva´s last [type] ..Finally caught up with winners- family stuff

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Gloria Mckellar August 31, 2010 at 4:38 pm

Start going to bed earlier a couple of weeks before school starts. Put out clothes the night before and have backpack ready to go.

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