Back-to-School is always one of our favorite times of the year at ThePolkaDotPosie. We've built quite a collection of fun FREE Printables to help you count down and get organized for the year ahead. But as we were taking stock of these printables the last few weeks we realized:
This year is going to look a LOT different.
Whether you and/or your kids are going back to the classroom, starting full-time remote/virtual learning, homeschooling or participating in a hybrid plan, this school year is going to be full of changes. For many of us that will mean new schedules, new routines and lots of new information to keep track of. With that in mind, we've put together some helpful Tips for Success (and some updated FREE school printables to go along with them).
TIP #1: GET YOURSELF A PLANNER
You knew that was going to be first on the list, right? Planners are what we do best, but we also know that planners are life savers when things get crazy and chaotic. So if there is ever a year that you NEED a planner...this is it.
Choosing a planner this year will really depend on how you are teaching or learning. If you want something that you can use for all areas of your life, our 2020-2021 Planner (in Seasonal or Signature design) is a great option and could meet all of your needs.
But if you are teaching or homeschooling this year, you are going to want a little something more specific. Our Teacher and Homeschool planners come with everything you need with 2-page monthlies, weekly lesson plages, daily and weekly dockets, attendance logs, reading logs, and so much more.
And don't forget your students! Our Undated Student Planner has everything from monthly, weekly and daily calendars, to assignment lists, schedules, reading logs, ToDo lists and project planners.
Need something a little more simple for younger kids? Check out our My First Planner!
TIP #2: HAVE A FAMILY BINDER OR BULLETIN BOARD
If your household has multiple schedules and multiple learning plans this year, we highly recommend setting up a family binder or bulletin board. This binder or space should be somewhere that is easily accessible for all members of your family (we really like the kitchen). It can include any/all of the following:
Important School Information & Paperwork
In addition to all the handouts you get from school, our updated School Printables will help you keep track of school info, logins and passwords for the various websites you and your children will need to access and a weekly checklist that can be printed out for kids to keep track of their subjects, homework, chores, etc. We left it blank so you can fill it in for your needs.
The purpose of a calendar in your Family Binder is to help sync everyones schedules. While some people prefer monthly views, we REALLY love our Detailed Weekly Calendars during the school year. They have plenty of space for daytime reminders, schedules & appointments, dinner planning, evening events and a daily ToDo checklist. This calendar would work great in a binder, but we prefer to print and laminate ours so that it can go on our refrigerator or family bulletin board. Use wet/dry erase markers and reuse each week.
Home Management Pages
Your Family Binder doesn't just have to be used for school and schedules. You can also use it to keep track of annual appointments, vehicle maintenace logs, cleaning schedules, emergency contact info, detailed lists and more! You can find millions of awesome free printables online for this section, but be sure to also check out our FREE Home Management Set.
TIP #3: TAKE NOTES and/or KEEP A JOURNAL
Calling all notebook hoarders! This tip is for you. Break out one of the many unused notebooks you have in your house right now and put it at your work station, on your nightstand or slip it in your tote. Technology is great, but as a writing teacher, I am always encouraging my students to put pen to paper. This is the PERFECT year to begin journaling if it isn't already one of your habits. You can find a variety of different journal prompts online, but sometimes the best journaling is simply a recap of your day. What did you do? Where were the struggles? What were the highlights? How did you feel?
Traditional journaling not your thing? You can also use your notebook for lists, jotting down notes and ideas, doodling, handlettering and more! The goal is simply to write/doodle in it every day (or as many days a week as you can remember).
TIP #4: CELEBRATE THE FIRST DAYEven though this school year will be unlike any other, it's so important to keep some of the school traditions you cherish, whether that is a special routine the night before the first day, or holding your First Day of School signs for a picture in the morning. Set the tone for the year with positivity and excitement :)
TIP #5: DON'T FORGET TO PRACTICE SELF-CARE
I don't know about all of you, but as a parent and a teacher, these last few weeks especially have felt like an emotional rollercoaster. And we've really never gotten off the ride since mid-March when the world shut down. Self-care is going to be so important for all of us this school year and we've put together a list of 50 different self-care ideas and inspiration. The pritntable list also comes with a blank calendar if you want to schedule your self-care ahead of time :)
Here is a great big SHOUT OUT to all of you parents, teachers and administrators for working so hard this summer. We see the hours of work you are putting in now and we know the hours of work you have ahead of you. Whatever the school year brings for all of us, let's go through it with plenty of grace and understanding. Let's support each other, no matter how we choose to educate our kids or do our jobs.
We are in this TOGETHER.
And ThePolkaDotPosie is here to help in any way we can. With printables :)