- Whether distance learning or in-person attendance is the plan, keep family members on track by creating a shared schedule or calendar.
- Too much screen time? Encourage your kids to take a break from digital devices throughout the day, and join them if you can!
- Household needs are constantly changing. This could be the right time to invest in a home that better suits your family’s lifestyle.
With a school year like none before it on the way, the need for new plans and organization strategies are necessary to make the school year a success for everyone — whether distance learning, in-person schooling or a hybrid system is implemented. Here are back to school tips that will help keep everyone safe, organized, and engaged.
Stick to a schedule
Just like color-coding your boxes while moving is helpful, creating a color-coded schedule may help family members navigate the school day. This schedule can be created virtually via apps such as Google Calendar so it’s accessible on the go, or you might consider hanging a calendar in a shared space for a more tangible approach.
While creating a schedule, double-check that kids have access to the resources they need to complete their assigned tasks. For example, if family members plan to share a computer or tablet throughout the day, ensure that everyone will have the tech they need to attend their classes. You might even consider budgeting for an extra tablet or backup laptop, for when tech needs overlap.
Organize productivity zones
With both distance learners and remote workers in the home, where will everyone go? It’s essential to create designated spaces. Here are some simple ways to transform areas in your home into more productive zones for at-home workers and learners:
- No lockers, no problem. Create at-home cubbies to store books or other supplies when they’re not in use.
- Place desks in low-distraction areas, such as dining rooms, living room corners or a spare room. Consider moving kids into the same room for sleeping, and use the free bedroom as the home base for schoolwork.
- If you’re low on space, convert the kitchen table into a work area during the day. Implement a clean-up time and plan each afternoon to keep learning materials away from food and drinks.
- Ensure each workspace has ample light, access to outlets and is decluttered.
If your kids are attending school in person, be sure to keep track of their masks, hand sanitizer and other safety items. Place these essentials in labeled baskets for each child near the entryway of your home. This will ensure each student is ready to go when the school day begins. In this space, you can also stow backup masks and materials in case of an emergency. Parent tip: clip a hand sanitizer keychain to your kids’ backpacks for easy access.
The feeding frenzy
Food is fuel! This makes mealtime an important part of any school or workday. If your kids are old enough to plan their own lunch or snack schedules, empower them to do so. If you have little ones that need help preparing meals, consider packing their lunch and snacks even if they’ll be at home doing distance learning. With prepped food on hand, your kids can eat nutritious lunches on their own… without interrupting your workday.
How to reset and refocus
Your kids probably aren’t used to so much screen time, and you don’t want them to be. It’s important to take breaks from laptops and tablets throughout the day, even when the devices are used for school. These screen-free activities will help your kids reset and return energized to learn:
- Take the dog on a walk around the block or play with pets inside.
- Draw in a coloring book or chalk the driveway.
- Complete a guided stretch or meditation.
- Dance to a favorite playlist.
- Play solitaire or other favorite card games.
Don't have students?
Whether you have kids learning from home or not, you have the opportunity to support educators, teachers and the community while they adjust to a host of new challenges. Reach out to teacher friends and ask if they need anything from you, or donate supplies that may help less privileged communities. Sticking together can help build a school year that is still a success for everyone.
New year, new home
As our households grow and evolve, so do our household needs. This year, COVID-19 has clarified the spaces we prioritize in our homes.
If you find yourself wishing for a house with a better setup for your kids’ at-home schooling or a more spacious home office, reach out to Edina Realty or one of our agents to start your home search today.