Wednesday, August 21, 2013

School Year Organization, Chores & Social Media Safety


Every year brings new challenges for us with keeping kids focused and successful in school.  I am a firm believer that our kids' progress in school is a direct reflection of our commitment to school.  We have to set the example, present clear and defined expectations, and follow through.

I'm most successful in life when I'm organized.  Here are a few tricks that work for us:

Set up a homework station and use it consistently.  Their supplies and mine are all in one place.  

My supplies:

Sharpies for labeling.
White out.
Post it notes for communication with teachers.
etc, etc

We do work, too!  Having everything in one place helps.

Keep important papers (from registration, letters from the teacher, etc) in one folder for you.  I write teachers' email addresses inside for quick reference.  "My" folder is the red chevron one inside our paper caddy.

Hang calendars in one location:

School issued.
Lunch menu.
Family activities.
Disneyland blockout days.

That far left bulletin is filled with pictures now, but will transition to school work and successful papers soon enough.


For us, summer is lazy and all about fun.  Kids still do chores, but with less rigidity and on their own terms, as long as they get done.

During school, we are too busy for me to micro-manage this, in addition to school work, sports and more.  Chore charts allow them to physically check off their responsibilities and it keeps them accountable.

Social Media

I love this time of year because we get to see everyone starting school in pretty clothes and new backpacks.  Some tips on what to post and what not to (in my opinion):

Never post the name of your child's school.
Never post teachers' names.
Don't 'check in' on school campuses.
Never post schedules or report cards.
Get permission before posting close-up photos of school friends.

I post a ton of photos of our children.....on my blog, facebook and instagram.  But, I'm diligent about keeping details private.  Regardless of how tight your friend list is.....or how private you keep things......if you post something online, it's free game for all, in my opinion.  It's simply not worth the risk.  Carter is my biggest challenge in this area, of course.  He once posted his report card - a very good one - on instagram.  I had him remove it because it included the name of his school and his teachers.  He was upset, but he understood.  

I also try to never post photos of my kids in their school spirit gear.  Every step we can take to keep details private is helpful.  All of this follows the same reasoning behind not putting our kids' names on sports jerseys and not posting stickers on our cars.  Our crew is still furious with me because I won't put 'honor roll' or 'star student' bumper stickers on my car.

But, that too, is for their protection.

I think that covers our routine.  Thoughts or suggestions?  Would love your ideas.

Here's to a great 2013-2014 school year!


Tutus and Choo-Choos said...

Being organized is key to homework! My kids complete their homework at the dining room table which is right next to the kitchen so that I can keep an eye on them. I do post where my kids attend school because where we live, parents are proud that their children attend NC!

Brittny said...

I agree on the keep some things to yourself. I remember seeing the back of someone's car and it had a doodle figure for each person along with their name under it. Really people??? Just in case people still think it's ok to post because nobody will see, I was told about a woman on base who was in a "closed group" on FB with some other people. She wrote some awful things on there that were not good for her husband's career and was really just stupid. She was called into his bosses office and they started to question her. She asked how/why/what they were talking about. The bosses handed her a printout out from the closed group of everything she had said. If it is in print, people can find it. Just because you can't, doesn't mean nobody else can.

starnes family said...

I think what we post matches our comfort level. I watch a lot of Dateline (I know, I know), hence the restrictions on details. I've also been recognized by strangers (twice) - in a public setting - due to something I posted online. So, I'm extra sensitive. To each, his own!

Unknown said...

I take a vary my route to stroller strides everyday. Kidding. But they do teach you that in the military. But seriously, we keep the shades to our strollers down because random tourists try to take pictures of our babies in Balboa Park all the time.

Good advice Casey! I love love all the organization ideas. But, Disneyland Block Out Days? Obsessed.

Malinda said...

My Dad is a retired police officer. I was never allowed to have my name visible on any clothing, backpack, etc. It used to make me mad because that was back in the day of T-Shirt shops where you could pick out an image for the front of your shirt and put your name in fuzzy letters on the back. Now that I have a child, I get it.

Emmy said...

Awesome post!!! The tips are so important, it is easy to want to post something because you are proud, but yes have to be so careful.
I love your jars for organizing the crayons and supplies, so awesome! Totally going to pin this post.

Jodee said...

Love your organized homework area! You are off to a great start!

The Piquant Storyteller said...

I love your crayon and marker jars! Those are seriously so cute! The social media part of your post has hit a nerve with your readers.
I agree that we post what we feel comfortable posting. Although posting first and last names and names of schools and cities can be too much information. A friend of mine started blogging all of those details she includes in scrapbooks or personal journals. After a few posts like that she decided to go private. That made me feel better for her sake.

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