Friday, September 23, 2011

Back to school routines-guest post

I have, as always, so much to write about and one of my resolutions is to attempt to catch up.  Until that happens, guest blogger, Jessica, has a few ideas that might be helpful to you all.  Thank  you Jessica for these most helpful tips!


Resolutions for the New School Year: Tips for Getting Organized

If you haven’t made your back to school resolutions yet it’s not too late! As with every New Year’s Eve, the new school year brings many resolutions. They usually include being on time, getting homework done, and getting organized. Getting organized is the most important thing you can do for your child because without organization in your home the atmosphere can seem chaotic making it difficult to concentrate on homework.

Bedroom Organization

Start early and organize your child’s room, closet, and homework space. Then, sit down and organize their morning routine. Enlist their help. This creates a sense of excitement and ownership. If you follow a few simple tips, and prepare early, your child will have a great new start for the school year.

First, organizing your child’s room and closets are imperative. A fresh room equals a fresh start. Clean out all old, worn, and outgrown clothes to make room for school clothes. Move out the play clothes and hang school clothes up front. Freshening up your child’s space will give them a sense of renewal and peace as they start the new school year. It will also give them a jump on getting dressed quickly and efficiently. No more searching for a pair of matching socks through a mountain of clothes in the morning.


A great tip, especially for younger children, is to hang a sweater organizer in their closet. Place a folded shirt, pants or skirt, socks, and underwear in each compartment. Do this at the beginning of each week and your child can just reach in and grab his whole outfit and put it on. This is a great time saver for busy families.

Homework Station

clip_image004Next, make sure your child has an adequately stocked homework spot. Clean out old school papers and discard any empty pens, dried up glue sticks, or other non-working items. All kids, even big ones, love new school supplies. There is something about a stack of unused notebook paper, new pens, and pencils, which delights most of us, young and old. But remember when shopping for school supplies to buy extras for home. There is no frustration like searching for scissors and glue sticks late Sunday nights because your child left their supply box at school.

A nice paper-stacking organizer on their desk is great for organizing notebook paper, colored paper, folders, and report covers. Purchase a few inexpensive plastic pencil cases and stock them with pencils, pens, colored pencils, and markers.

Don’t forget computer supplies. Plenty of paper and extra ink cartridges are a must. Isn’t it always the way that your printer runs out of ink for that late night paper, the minute after store hours? So, don’t forget the extra ink. Keep extras on hand. Always.

Daily Schedules

Last, sit down with your child and organize their day. You can print it out on the computer or let your child write it out in colorful markers.

1. Make a list for the morning routine.

Include things like brushing their teeth, taking vitamins, and any other item that usually causes you to run back in the morning.

2. Make a list of items to remember to bring and place it by the door that you leave out of every morning.

Include the most common forgotten items such as lunchboxes, glasses, jackets, etc. Having the lists handy allows your child to remember their routine and keeps them from forgetting important items. More importantly, it keeps you; parent, from becoming the morning drill sergeant.

Morning Check List

Wake-up at 7am


Wash Face


Make Bed

Eat Breakfast


Brush Teeth


Comb Hair

Get Dressed


REMEMBER: lunch boxes, glasses, jacket, homework, and gym clothes

Helping your child get organized for the new school year can be a fun and productive pastime. Being organized will help you keep all of those new school year resolutions. Getting dressed quickly and easily saves time in the mornings. Having their rooms and desks organized will make homework a breeze. The lists to help with the morning routine will keep you from running back in helping you to get to school on time, every morning. Following a few helpful organizing tips will help your child have a peaceful and organized start to the school year.

This guest post was brought to you by PartSelect, the complete online resource for the do-it-yourself repair market and distributor of Jenn-Air parts.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 years later

I have not been finding a lot of extra time to write on my blog recently but felt I could not let the day end without reflecting on what today has meant to so many.


I was teaching kindergarten in Murfreesboro, TN on September 11, 2001.  I was teaching at a brand new school, we had only been opened for a few weeks.  Because it was new, the televisions had not been hooked up yet and I think we only had INTRANET.  (How things have changed in 10 years…I think INTERNET is hooked up sometimes before plumbing is completed these days.)  My planning period was early in the day, in the 9 o’clock hour.  I went to the office after dropping my kids off at music or pe or art.  I went in to collect my mail and heard the secretary say that the Pentagon had just had a plane fly into it.   It didn’t really mean much to me at the time.  I didn’t understand the significance.

The people in the office were talking about how crazy it was that a plane had flown into the Pentagon when we heard reports about the World Trade Centers.  Again, I didn’t fully grasp what was happening.

I saw no coverage of the events of the day while I was working that day.  I believe someone emailed a picture around of the planes flying into the WTC’s and I saw something similar to the picture at the top of this post.  All day long parents were coming to the school to pick up their kids, wanting them to be close to home…everyone was terrified about what would happen next. Yet, I had no real idea what was going on.

I left school pretty immediately that day and headed to my apartment.  I don’t remember if my roommate, Clair, was home or she was at her boyfriends house.  I do remember talking to my mom and sister.  I remember talking to the guy I was dating at the time and asking him to please come over.  I remember sitting in front of the television that night and watching the coverage in disbelief.  It was so heartbreaking!  I finally realized what had happened and how it impacted us all.  I listened to the President say that our nation had been attacked and we would not falter or crumble.  I, like most everyone else, wondered…would my town be next?  I realized that nothing would ever be the same.  I grieved as I watched the coverage.


Today was similar in many ways to that day 10 years ago.  I was away from my television for most of the day.  We had gone to Little Rock this weekend for a wedding and were driving home today.  Through Facebook and Twitter I knew that several stations were televising tributes today.  Many friends wrote that they could not stop crying from all of the coverage.  I, again, felt strangely out of the loop.

But, this is 2011 where everyone has some sort of access to the internet.  I pulled my phone out and watched coverage from 10 years ago.  As I sat in the car, tears pouring out of my eyes, I realized, this is the first time I had seen this!  I had never seen the morning coverage of the attacks, just the replays that evening when I got home from school.  To hear the newscasters and their shock when they saw the plane fly into the second tower was amazing.  They were professional and stunned/speechless.

The above is a picture of a father touching his son’s name at the memorial in NYC.  How much pain has that man endured in the past 10 years?  How long did he hold out hope that his son would be found?  How has his life changed from 9/11/01?  He will never forget!

And I hope that I will never forget!  I wish I could remember clearer details from that day, could recall my shock as I saw the events, could remember the general feeling as I watched the television.  Although I can’t, I do remember how proud I felt that evening to be an American and how proud I was of other Americans.  It seemed to me that everyone truly came together after that Tuesday morning.

September 11, 2001.

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