Where does the time go? It is already August, kids are prepping for fall sports, and parents are scrambling to have a few last adventures in summer and still get the family ready for school. Get the school year off to a smooth and smart start - and keep it that way - with a few tips and tricks from my article over at Smead Organomics. And while you are there, check out all the other cool organizing stuff they have - it's a great resource!
Kids model what they see, right? One of my lovely clients shared the folding boards she made for her girls, pattern found on Pinterest (of course!), and the video of how they use it.
I was amazed that even at the girls' young ages they were able to, and excited about, using the folding boards. This Mom is giving her girls a head start on the life skills they'll need to manage adulthood! WAY TO GO MOM!
For more instructions about how to make your own boards, be sure to go back to my #ResourceWednesday from yesterday and watch that video. If it can take away some of the dread and crumpled laundry mess, it is definitely worth it!
And do you know how to find them?
It’s a scary digital world for parents. There seems to be about as much control over kids’ accounts and digital information as control of the weather. So how do we keep our kids safe – and keep tabs on their accounts?
Know Your Rights
There are laws, as provided for by COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Act of 1998), that regulate what our kids are able to do online. It addresses such things as waiting until at least age 13 to get a Facebook account and prohibiting marketers from targeting kids younger than that age. But there is a whole lot of grey area – and we have a whole lot of things we need to do on our parts.
We have to ask ourselves this uncomfortable question: If something happens to my child (injury, illness, death), could I access my child’s technology?
Could you unlock the phone or laptop? Open emails? Find IDs and passwords for all social media accounts? The reality is that the law does not protect parents and their children. If you don’t have access now, tech companies aren’t necessarily going to give it to you if you need it. In recent years, parents have been battling, unsuccessfully, to access their kids’ accounts. So a platform like Facebook won’t allow you access to your child’s account in case of an emergency. They are just now rolling out options in the US for people to establish “Legacy” settings. The laws are behind the technology, and we have to take steps to organize our kids’ digital information.
Organizing Your Child’s Digital Information
Every family needs to find a method that works for the ages and responsibility levels of their kids. The point is to do something today so your child’s digital footprint doesn’t walk away from you.
School doors are opening once again and soon parents everywhere will be asking questions such as:
Student Learning Styles – And How They Affect Student Organization Skills
We all have unique learning styles, and for students these can be even more pronounced. The way we learn affects our abilities to take in and retain information, as well as organize our thoughts. There are three major learning styles – and lots of ways we can encourage our kids to use their styles to their advantages.
Visual Learners – This learning style represents the largest portion of learners. Students who thrive on visual learning benefit from seeing information and making visual connections.
Auditory Learners – These students retain information best when they hear it presented, such as listening to someone read, give a lecture, or by having a conversation.
Kinesthetic Learners – These are the kids who might seem fidgety in their seats or be prone to wander around when you’re begging them to “focus”. However, their brains are wired to benefit from movement – and for them learning and focus require a body in motion.
For more information about how to identify your child’s learning style – and how to turn that into an asset for their organization skills when heading back to school, be sure to listen to this great Smead podcast by Kathy Jenkins! What are your tips for helping your kids get organized for school and homework?
Welcome to August....and National Immunization Awareness Month - which goes hand in hand with back to school readiness! Now, I don't want to debate whether immunizations are necessary or not - each camp has its right to its opinion. For those who do choose to immunize, keeping records of immunizations shouldn't be just a shot in the dark.
Whether we're talking about your toddler or you are tracking your own healthcare (yep - adults get immunizations, too!), knowing where to find those records is important. Schools and sport teams need access to this information. Adults have their own lists of immunizations, too, for the shingles vaccine and more, and you never know when you're going to need access to this information on short notice.
When my kids were younger we got little booklets to record the type and date of immunizations, as well as the name of the Dr. who gave them. I kept them in the file cabinet under each of their names, along with other medical information.
In the digital age, we have a plethora of options! Parents can use the little booklet the Drs are still handing out, or use an online printable like the ones provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - they can be printed out or saved as a PDF and filed as such. And, of course, there are many apps for tracking immunizations, such as Shots (love the logo with the needle - NOT!). The Shots app has the complete set of vaccine schedules from the CDC, along with up to date information about risks, adverse reactions, contraindications, etc.
No matter how you choose to record immunizations, remember WHERE you keep them, and keep them up to date. Healthcare record keeping shouldn't be a shot in the dark!
Ever walk into, or by, a space and find yourself instantly crabby or irritated? The piles of paper on the kitchen table or the umpteen pairs of shoes jumbled on the mud room floor turns us into the Wicked Witch of the West begging to release the flying monkeys on those that created it.
Mine is dirty dishes in the sink when I come home from work. My kids have learned that they had better load the dishwasher before I get home or things go downill from there! I've even come in the back door and heard them furiously loading the dirty dishes because they saw me pulling in to the driveway.
We call spaces that set us on edge "hot spots", and every home has them - unless you live alone and are perfectly happy with things as they are. How do we change a hot spot into a non-irritating, organized space? First we identify the spot - it took me several weeks to figure out why I was so crabby some nights. Once I realized it I enlisted my family's help in solving it. Often the hot spots affect us subconciously - we're so used to seeing the clutter we don't realize the weight it holds over us.
When you know what your, or your living companion's, hot spot is, have a conversation about what can be done to improve it. Small, incremental steps are key to tackling any organizational project vs ripping everything out like a tazmanian devil and being too overwhelmed to finish it.
Good luck - and watch out for those flying monkeys!
P.S. Got a hot spot dilemma? Post a comment below and we'll solve it together.
YESSSSSSS....you can almost hear the collective exhalation of parental relief as the kids head off to the start of another school year. Don't miss my article at Smead Organomics on how to get the year off to a smooth start, and how to keep it that way. And while you are there, check out all the other cool organizing stuff they have - it's a great resource!
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Tammy Schotzko is a Certified Professional Organizer who