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Getting Organized for the School Year: Seven 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, PreK 3 Teacher and Mom to Pinecrest Senior, Olivia, Sophomore, Chloe, and ‘16 graduate Sophie, 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: Breakfast
Dana Oshinski, PreK Supervisor and Teacher, and Mom to three Pinecrest Alumni says:
“Have a set menu for each morning. No short order cooking (ie, Monday is waffles, Tuesday is eggs, Wed is cereal, etc.)! Kids know what to expect, and Mom has a plan!”

Tip 3: Uniforms
Nikki Van Wingerden, Mom to Cooper, 4th 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.”

Tip 4: 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 5: Homework
Jennifer Althardt, Mom to Pre-K3 student Nolan, 1st Grader Lily, and 4th Grader 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.”

Tip 6: Groceries
Alason Parr, Mom to two Pinecrest alumni, shares:
“After dropping the kids off in morning carpool, I found this window of time the best time to do any shopping, where stores were open early. I got my grocery shopping done with absolutely no one else in the store. It was quicker and easier!”

Tip 7: 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.”

Do you have a tip to share? If so, please enter it in the comment section.

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.
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