Every school age boy and girl knows a little something about Benjamin Franklin. He was one of the framers of the United States Constitution and a key figure in the birth of a nation.
He was also very practical, clever, and extremely quotable.
What can we learn from Ben Franklin about helping our kids make the transition back to school? Quite a lot, it seems.
“A place for everything, everything in its place.”
Imagine your kids dressing themselves in the morning, putting away their own toys, books, and clean clothes in the afternoon, hanging their coats on hooks, putting shoes and boots in cubbies, and not turning every inch of available floor space into a disaster area.
Fantasy? No! If your kids’ rooms are organized properly, this is an achievable reality. Sort out clothes and books that your kids no longer need and create ample space for everything that remains.
Remember to organize kids’ closets so that items are accessible for children: low hanging rods, baskets and bins, and clear areas for different types of clothing. Give them every chance to succeed in helping you keep the house orderly.
Starting from scratch and making things organized is hard. Keeping things organized is surprisingly easy – even for kids!
“A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.”
Every child should have a dedicated space for doing their schoolwork.
Desks piled high with books and papers will distract them from the task at hand and hinder their ability to finish their homework.
- Keep bookshelves stacked with books and materials relevant to their age and learning abilities.
- Make sure that electronic diversions such as videogames have a place to live behind closed doors so they aren’t a visual distraction.
- If they need a computer for school, be sure that there is enough desk space devoted to reading and writing. The computer shouldn’t dominate the entire desktop.
“Employ thy time well, if thou meanest to gain leisure.”
When your kids’ things are organized, it saves them (and you) tons of time.
Keep their books and school materials in one place so you don’t have to search all over the house when it comes time to catch the bus in the morning. Coats and shoes by the front door are a time-saver, as well.
By keeping things organized, you can train your kids to know where to find things and, equally as important, where to store things when they return home in the afternoon. Making them part of the process hones their mind and empowers them to take control of their success and failure, as well.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
Kids really do want to succeed. However, it is up to you to give them the tools and the structure they need as a framework for that success.
If kids are having trouble staying organized or if they started the school year disorganized, set some time aside to get things in order. Resist the urge to do the work for them. Make sure they are part of the process. They can give you feedback about what is working and what isn’t. Tackle the process in small chunks, perhaps a half hour at a time. Keep the process light and fun so they don’t feel bogged down and resistant. Everyone will benefit in the long run.
Do these Ben Franklin quotes and organization ideas apply to your family? What are you doing differently this year to make the kids transition back to school more organized and less stressful? Let us know in the comments!
Dan is a Web & Social Media Specialist at California Closets and hopes that one day his music collection will be as organized as his closets.