At this point, you get it: everything is moving online. Your planner, calculator, contact list, group-project group chat, and even your classes are all increasingly accessible in your back pocket. Why should your back-to-school rituals be any different? Keeping all your needs in one place using an efficient family organization app can help keep you on top of what you’ve accomplished and what you still need to get done.
One kid needs crayons and scissors and glue, while your oldest needs to order textbooks, to enroll in college courses, and buy a new laptop for their next chapter. Instead of keeping paper lists for each trip or juggling all your tasks in your head, an overly stressed parent can make things easier on themselves by going digital.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, The number of undergraduate students exclusively enrolled in distance education courses was 186 percent higher in 2020 than in 2019 (7.0 million versus 2.4 million), making digital organizational practices more important than ever among college students. During the heat of the pandemic, 19 percent of school districts were fully remote, with 45 percent using a hybrid model, and 36 percent fully in person in November 2020, providing excess strain on parents scrambling to adjust accordingly.
As parents wrestle with the needs of their children working from home, their own work-from-home needs, and managing their personal time, an organization app can help streamline their priorities, tasks, and time off. Below are some ways an organization app can improve a parent-child relationship when it comes to getting back to school.
Make A List of Back-To-School Needs
Use the app to make a simple, check-off-able list for back-to-school shopping. The app can be satisfying as you cross off each need in real time. You can also separate tailored lists for each child, but keep them all in one place for easy access and completion.
Your college kids can then go get their materials themselves and keep you updated via the app for what else they need or any progress that’s being made, so you can focus on the needs of the younger ones. Teach your child to make the list themselves, or work with teachers to make sure what is needed is clearly outlined. Then keep track of it together and enjoy the satisfaction of crossing the finish line.
Assign Homework Tasks On The App
Maybe you work late and won’t be home until late in the evening. Make sure your child is keeping up with their homework remotely by assigning tasks in the app. You can then see how much is left to do, so you can assist with the remaining tasks they might need help with when you get home. But in the meantime, ensure your kids are handling the basics when they get home from school. Introduce a reward system. For example, “if you get these five tasks done by the time I’m off work, I’ll bring you a Happy Meal on the way home.”
When your child is assigned a long-term project, have them file it in the app, so both the child and the parent know when the due date is approaching. This can eliminate those “I have a volcano project due tomorrow” conversations when it’s 9 p.m. and you worked late.
Improve Communication With Your Child’s Teachers
If your child’s educators are open to more communication, particularly if your child is still in a remote or hybrid learning environment, having an open discourse with teachers about assignments and expectations can relieve stress and provide clarity to you and you and your child. This can help you hold your child accountable if he’s slipping on assignments or improve his performance by double checking what their teacher is looking for.
For those children that have special needs or adjusted learning models, using an organization app can keep you as the parent in the loop about the curriculum and adjusted expectations. Even if it only involves a teacher uploading a syllabus to the app, a parent can have a clear outline of the semester’s assignments and calendar. If this model works for the parent and educator, it can possibly eliminate the need to drive to the school for a parent-teacher conference.
Improve Co-Parenting For Your Child’s Schoolwork
If you are coparenting, invite the other parent into the app to work collaboratively on tackling your child’s school needs. This way no communication is lost between parents about what needs to be completed by the time they go to the other parent’s house, and both sides can monitor their child’s progress throughout the semester.
This can teach the child more responsibility in handling their own assignments, as they know both parents can now see and monitor their work. It can eliminate a child’s ability to pull a fast one on Dad because he didn’t know what was due in the morning, or relieve Mom from working on last month’s projects by having the other parent take over. You can also divide materials for back-to-school shopping in the app so both parents can contribute proportionally to getting the required materials for the school year.
Make A List of Incentives
Maybe it’s an agreement that guarantees a child will get an Xbox at the end of the semester if they get straight A’s. Maybe it’s a list of milestones throughout the school year a child can strive for as rewards for their hard work. But making a list of incentives a child can see as a reward for being a good student can improve their productivity and confidence as they check off tasks, and also teach them how to set and reach long-term goals.
Color-coordinated goals, like green for completed and red for tasks still undone, can be pleasing to see and track for both the student and parent. But find what works best for your family and give it a shot.
The Bottom Line
Each family is going to operate differently, and what works for one might not work for another.
The best part about organization apps, like https://www.bublup.com, is you can tailor them to you or your child’s specific needs, then adjust them if necessary. If you haven’t tried it before, it could be beneficial to your family and relieve stress from past habits you know do not work. Try putting away the notepad and pencil, and opt for some digitally pleasing means of getting your child back to school effectively.