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Getting back to school after a short break

Getting back to school after a short break
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With the start of school, families face new organisation challenges. School bells ring--and so do early-morning alarm clocks. Paper piles swell as...

With the start of school, families face new organisation challenges. School bells ring--and so do early-morning alarm clocks. Paper piles swell as hand-outs and homework stream into the house.

Get organised now for the best school year ever! Use these ideas to prepare your home and family for the busy days ahead.

Ease the family into a school schedule

The first day of school is no time for a drastic adjustment of household sleep schedules. Instead, ease children back into a school year routine gradually.

During the last two weeks of summer, re-introduce a school year bedtime. Begin waking late sleepers earlier and earlier, closer to the hour they'll need to rise when school begins.

Don't neglect mealtimes! Younger children, in particular, need to adapt to new meal routines before the school day demands it of them. Plan meals and snacks to accustom little ones to rituals of the school day before the school year begins.

Create calendar central

School functions, lunch menus, scout meetings and music lessons. What do you do when you're drowning in paper?

Nothing calms school year chaos like calendar central: a centralised site for all family calendars and schedules. You'll need a family event calendar to track after-school activities, school programs and volunteer work.

Add specialised calendars and schedules, and you have it: a one-stop shop for family time management.Form is less important than function. A paper calendar with large squares lets you enter information easily.

Pre-printed white board calendars are easy to revise when necessary. Color-coding entries by family member helps keep busy lives straight.

Choose a calendar format that works for your family.

Post the family event calendar in a public place near the telephone. Use magnets to attach the calendar to the refrigerator, or tack it to a bulletin board.

Add other events to your calendar like- school lunch menus, class assignment sheets, sports practice schedules.

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