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How to get kids ready for the schoolyear routine

Aug 02, 2023

Here are a handful of tips as your children get set to return

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Cover your eyes if this displeases you: September is on the horizon.

The children will soon be back at school, which means a return to routine, including going to bed earlier to get a fresh start on the following day. This ensures a successful school year. With that in mind, I’ve cooked up a list of 10 family friendly reminders to help with scheduling life. Get those knapsacks washed, laptops cleared of summer movies and whip out the whiteboard to slot in appointments and events, kids.

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The organized house

In summer, we’re more relaxed around security. As though break-ins never happen when the sun shines (right). Reinstate family home rules now that everyone is back in school and at work. Update emergency numbers on everyone’s cellphones and also listed in a conspicuous spot in the house — in my day, that was the refrigerator door.

It’s also a good time to check the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors on each floor of your home are in good working order.

The main-floor windows and doors should now be habitually locked. Hide a lockbox outside at an agreed location, perhaps in a neighbour’s yard, to help if someone loses a key. Or, even better, go keyless. An encoded lock allows you to create password codes and some of them pair with smartphones. The Schlage Encode Plus Smart Wi-Fi Deadbolt works with the Apple Watch. Simply hold your watch to the keypad for an automatic unlock feature. You can also manage codes from other devices to monitor door entries.

An old-fashioned whiteboard is another great way to keep home life organized, allowing you to track family member’s after work meetings, school sports and social activities at a glance.

Organized mornings

Summer is for lazing, fall is for finessing. This is especially true of busy morning. Everyone needs to be dressed, fed and knapsacks and gym bags packed and ready to go. Set staggered wake-up times to ensure everyone has a turn in the bathroom before starting the day. Assign a responsibility to each child, like choosing clothes the night before, or helping set out the breakfast bowls.

A healthy breakfast is simple and easy. Think quickie smoothies. Let each child choose what goes inside. Reach for a range of assorted fruits and vegetables. (It’s easy to hide a handful of shredded carrot or spinach in a blender.) Frozen berries, mangoes and pineapple or a tropical fruit mix are excellent choices that result in a chilled beverage with a thicker consistency compared to using room-temperature fruit. (Add liquid if it’s too thick.) Throw in hemp seeds, chia seeds or peanut butter for added protein. Liquids such as orange or apple juice, oat or almond milk, water or even yogurt are great in smoothies.

Got older active kids who are into sports? Then check out the Hamilton Beach Blend Now Portable Cordless Blender, $27, from Walmart. For a nutritious boost, fill the jar with vegetables and fruit, liquid of choice and ice and then blend away anywhere. The blender charges on any USB port and can blitz 25 smoothies on a full charge.

Organized study

Finally, now that the day is done, it’s time to tackle homework — or try to anyway. A visit to the fridge is usually the first trip a student makes after school; keep a homework log on the fridge or nearby. While some kids do well studying alone in their bedroom, others need supervision to keep focused. Set up a family study desk so that mom or dad keep an eye on computer use and homework progress before dinnertime. Try the Gry Mattr Three Drawer Cabinet at Staples. Of course it’s also a great spot for mom to sit down later in the evenings and peruse social media, pay bills and file the day away. But does her day really ever end?

Do you have a decor dilemma or want more decor inspiration from Karl? email your design question to: [email protected]

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