Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Spring Cleaning in January? By Mikey Smith, M. Ed.

Spring Cleaning in January?
Preparing for a Successful Second Semester
by Mikey Smith, M. Ed

Remember August? Sparkling school supplies sat waiting to be used by students who sat down at the same time, in the same place each afternoon to diligently work on the evening's homework before laying out clothes and supplies to be taken to school the following day. As the school year wore on, however, these routines seemed to fade away, (or never got adopted in the first place) making each day a stressful blur. January is the perfect time to get back into great habits or to start some new ones. Here are some suggestions:  

--Clean out your student's backpack, lunchbox, binders and folders. By December many students' backpacks are as big as they are, usually packed to bursting with a bunch of outdated and unnecessary worksheets, notices and papers, not to mention piles of candy wrappers and a few wads of gum. Take no prisoners! Dump everything out. If your student doesn't know for sure whether to keep or dump something, to be on the safe side, put it into an appropriately-sized storage tub so that it can be found if need be. Don't recycle or trash anything unless you are 101% sure it will never be needed again.

--Check schedules - some schools change electives or other classes at mid-term. . . and some parents never find out until the end of the year! Make sure you know what classes your child is taking and have teacher contact info for all teachers.

--Re-stock your school supplies. You started the school year with a selection of supplies that would make Office Depot jealous, but now you're down to a few pencil nubs with no erasers and a bottle of crusty White-Out.  While most stores don't have huge school supply sales in January like they do in August, Dollar Stores almost ALWAYS have basics like pens, pencils, folders and notebooks for rock bottom prices.