KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
August 12, 2021
By Natalie Cook Clark
It’s time for Katy families to prepare for a new school year. These hacks can help you plan for a successful year.
Where can you hide motivational notes this school year?
Katy Moms Share Helpful Hacks
Katy families want a successful school year. These hacks and helpful tips (many suggested by Katy Moms) can help families organize, plan, and motivate their students into the new academic year.
1. Morning Music Jam
Start each day off right with a music jam and dance party! Work as a family to create an uplifting playlist.
“We have a good morning playlist we listen to every day on the way to school,” says Katy mom Christi Elkins. “Jamming out and dancing is such a fun way to start the day!”
The Elkins family playlist includes songs like “Happy” by Pharrell, “Good Morning” by Mandisa, and many more fun songs.
What’s on your morning playlist?
2. Plan to Motivate
We all could use a little encouragement going into a new routine, especially students. Surprise them with motivational notes. Katy mom Andrea Miller plans to use motivational pencils, an idea she got from a friend. Other ideas could be to write notes on a lunch/snack napkin, hide a message in their backpack, etc.
Chancie Davis bought cookies that look like notebook paper. She’ll write notes on them and store the rest in the freezer until they are all used.
3. Practice Makes Perfect
“Make sure to practice opening the things that go in their lunches, like milk cartons, juices, snack bags, etc.,” says Angelina Storton, a Katy mom that points out how many other kiddos the teachers have to help.
“The less someone else is touching their food the better as far as staying healthy this year,” says Storton.
This can also apply to practicing mask wearing, if your children will be wearing them.
Katy families should also work with students on practicing what grade they are in (for the younger ones) as well as knowing phone numbers and addresses.
4. At-Home “Lunch and Snack Stations”
“I dedicated a whole lower cabinet to lunch boxes, containers, etc. then in the upper part are all the snacks, trail mixes, etc.,” says Kelsey Schramko, who also had premade sandwiches in the fridge.
The Schramko kids are older now but she swears by this system when they were young.
“I loved it and it taught them to do it on their own,” says Schramko.
5. Home “Command Center”
Set up a clear space for students to do homework, eat breakfast, and store their important papers.
Younger students will love setting up similar cubby stations to their classrooms. Give them a place to put those backpacks and lunch boxes to avoid cluttering your home.
6. Project Wardrobe
Simplify your mornings by planning out their wardrobe. Katy mom, Kathryn Fox includes this as part of her children’s bedtime routine.
“For those that like to be more independent, give them two options to choose from for each item to allow them a sense of control,” suggests Fox, who lays out everything from underwear to socks.
“We pick out the entire week’s outfits on Sunday night because my kiddo has such a hard time choosing clothes in the morning,” says Sarah Hubbell.
7. Out with the Old
Speaking of clothes, back to school is a great opportunity to clear out outgrown clothes. Take stock of what each child has and reorganize their drawers and closets. Katy has many non-profits that accept donations.
8. Create a Checklist
Help everyone stay on task by clearly displaying a checklist at the door they leave for school from. Include items like backpack, lunch, snack, homework, etc.
9. Backpack Prep
Let them pick out their backpack and lunch boxes and help set them up. Have a “backpack parade” at home to celebrate the new school year.
Many local churches offer backpack blessings. Check to see if your church does this and involve your students in these prayers for a successful year.
10. Set Goals (and Dreams)
Hold a family meeting and set both family and individual goals for the new year. Dream big this year! Have students write them down and create a plan to reach each one.
11. How to Fight Carpool Line Boredom
No Katy mom enjoys sitting in the carpool line so develop your “boredom management plan.”
Katy mom, Faye Segura loves to read a book. Angelina Storton will catch up on emails, read, or watch a Netflix show.
What will you do?
12. Display School Schedule at Home
When you get your student’s daily schedule, display it at home. This is a great talking point during breakfast. Also, moms can look at it throughout the day and have an idea of what their child is doing at that moment.
13. Create a Routine Board
Plan out your student’s day by clearly showing them their routines. Start practicing this NOW. Include chores and what days they have after school activities.
14. Do your Parent Homework
Make sure you’ve followed Katy Magazine’s “Must Knows” to make sure all important back to school tasks are checked off your parent list. Don’t forget that Katy ISD offers tech support if you are struggling with enrollment or access to a form of communication.
15. Practice Summer Stories
Celebrate the end of summer by discussing your family’s favorite things you did. Let students practice talking about their favorite camps, vacations, etc. Have them write it down for practice as well. Odds all they will be doing this in class too so it’s great practice and fun!
Katy ISD welcomes students to the new academic year Wednesday, August 18.
Many of these “hacks” were suggested on Katy Moms, a Facebook community group where local moms ask questions and share ideas.
What are you doing to get ready for back to school? Share your helpful “hacks” with us in the comments!