Getting Organized for the School Year: Six Tips

The start of a new school year is always a hectic time, as parents and children readjust to the structured schedule of the school week. Here are a few tips from a hand-full of Pinecrest moms that will hopefully help make the transition from summer to school a bit easier.

Tip 1: Morning Prayer 
Annemarie Turner, Mom to Pinecrest Senior, Chloe, and two Pinecrest graduates, shares: 
“Make time for prayer before anyone else in the family is up. Even if it's only 15 minutes! This will be the most important conversation of your day, and the assistance you receive from this prayer time with The One who loves you most in the world, will flow through your entire day. Set out everything you need for coffee or tea the night before, and, before you go to bed, prepare your prayer place for the next morning. Lay out the Gospel reading for the day, the cup, tea bag, or coffee pot - ready to go. When you wake up, prepare that cup of warm goodness, sit down at the spot you've prepared the night before, and start talking. It's that simple! He's always waiting for us. After you've read the Gospel, ask God to tell you about His mission for you that day. Tell Him how much you love Him and ask for His help. Before you finish, go over the special items on your agenda, asking Him to be in every corner of your day. He WILL be! He WANTS to be!” 
Tip 2: Uniforms 
Nikki Van Wingerden, Mom to Cooper, 6th Grade, offers this tip: 
“I make Cooper lay out his clothes on the steps the night before. That includes everything, with shoes. That is the first thing he must do. No excuses that he can not find a belt, tie, etc. The clothes act as a reminder to get dressed first and there is no fussing over what to do. Then, all he has to do is eat, brush his hair and brush his teeth.” 
Kristen Nelson, Mom to Kolbe, Anders and Sophia, says:
“Since the students in lower school wear their P.E. uniform two days of the week, I have my lower school child wear her P.E. clothes to bed the night before. It makes getting up and ready for school on those days a lot easier.”
Tip 3: Lunches 
Margaret Frain, Mom of four Pinecrest students and five alumni, says: 
“We place our Dollar Tree baskets on the counter after dinner, and the kids load them up with all their lunch items (that are not cold) for the next day. Then in the morning, either I'll make their sandwiches, or, if they are on top of their game, they do! It's so simple but somehow helps so much.” 
Tip 4: Homework
Jennifer Althardt, Mom to Nolan, Lily, and Luke, offers: 
“One thing we do to stay on task with homework is provide each child a "homework box" that is always stored in the same location. It's a plastic pencil box that contains all of the supplies they might need to successfully complete any homework assignment, including a couple of pencils, an eraser, a pair of scissors, a glue stick, a small ruler, a highlighter, and a small box of crayons. This prevents them from getting up from the table and spending too much time searching for a specific item in the midst of completing an assignment.” 
Susan Lockart, Mom to Alexandra, shares:
“My personal tip for homework is always for Alexandra to do her hardest subject first. Once that is tackled, everything else is easier and the day ends on a better note.”
From Erica Painter, Mom to Reese and Reagan:
“With my middle school child we review the week ahead on Sunday so she knows what books to bring home for school work and study. We buy a desk calendar and I make her look at the month so she can see when a test or quiz is coming up. It also helps her manage her time with extracurricular activities.”
“I also keep a homework box in the car so when we are waiting for the older sibling to be released, the younger sibling does her homework in the car while waiting in carpool.”
Tip 5: Screen Time:
Mary Tollett, mom of six, suggests:
“Once the kids are dressed and have everything packed and ready to go, I let them have a short amount of screen time while I prepare breakfast. As soon as it's ready, they know it's time to turn off the electronics and get to the table. Inevitably, there are times when someone complains because they "only got to play 1 minute!" but they know it is on them to wake up earlier and have their clothes organized and lunches ready in the morning.”

Tip 6: Schedules 
Marion Metz, Mom to Pinecrest students Chris, Joe, Mark, Regina and Teresa, and to five alums says: 
“Have a quick family meeting at the end of dinner on Sunday night to do a 5-minute calendar review for the week of what everyone has on their schedules. We do this at the dinner table before anyone leaves.”
Have a blessed school year!
Pinecrest Academy is a private, Pre-K through 12, college preparatory Catholic school, located in South Forsyth, just minutes from Alpharetta, Milton, Johns Creek, Duluth and Suwanee. We provide an atmosphere of academic rigor and critical thinking, while offering personalized attention in a Christ-centered environment of faith and reason.
Pinecrest Academy is a private PreK3-12 Catholic school located in Cumming, South Forsyth, just minutes from Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Milton and Suwanee. We serve families of all faiths seeking a Christian education for their children. To learn more about our unique educational philosophy, visit our Welcome page.

The mission of Pinecrest Academy is reflected in the word Integer, which is Latin for “whole,” or “entire,” and reflects our goal of forming the whole child as an authentic “Person in Christ.” The school motto Semper Altius, means “Always Higher,” and challenges our students, parents, staff and faculty to strive for excellence in all areas of Integral Formation® - intellectual, spiritual, human and apostolic.