It’s a new year, friends, which means everyone gets a fresh start and a chance to regroup and reset.
After the buzz of the holidays, it is a great time to bring the family together and get refocused. And it’s an absolute must that kids are involved, no matter their age.
We have a few tricks to get your kids reading, writing, and organizing in the new year. And each our five simple ideas will not only get kids reading, writing, and organizing, but they’ll also get kids working together to make a difference in their family — and other families as well.
Here’s what we’re talking about:
1. Find your family’s five trouble spots.
Get the family together and say, “It’s time that we give our home a little refocus and reorganization for this new year. We’re going to put our heads together and make a list of five things that we can do to make our living space more enjoyable and organized. We’re looking for parts of our home that are overly cluttered, that are frustrating, or that are stressful. And we’re going to change them."
Assign one child the note-taking role. That child will take notes as you walk through the house together or as you brainstorm and decide upon your to-do list.
2. Read through books, games, and magazines on the shelf and decide what stays, what gets stored, and what gets donated.
Lots of reading and skimming will be done while re-organizing book shelves.
Have one child write three signs: Keep, Store, Donate. Then put each book, game, or magazine in an appropriate pile.
Those in the “Keep” pile will stay in the house; those in the “Store” pile will be put in storage for a later time; those in the “Donate” pile will be given to friends, families, or an agency.
3. Do a little research and figure out the best local places to donate items.
Alongside your child, search online for local donation centers. Bookmark each or print out a bit about each, and then talk about which place is the best fit for your items.
4. Reach out to the organizations either by email or by phone and find out how to get your items to them.
It’s one thing for a parent to shove all unneeded items into a garbage bag and then drop the bag into a donation bin, but it’s another thing for a child to learn about non-profit organizations and then find out donation process, location, and system.
You may be surprised at how invested your children become in this process of organizing and donating once you give them a little control!
5. Focus on your home and space. Create labels for boxes, spaces, and new places.
Grab a few Sharpie markers and labels, and start organizing! Make sure that every book, every game, every magazine or item has a home. And then have your child create a label for that home.
Sounds simple, but the payoff is big!
How do you get your children reading, writing, and organizing at home in the New Year? We’d love to know! Share your ideas on the Scholastic Parents Facebook page, or find Amy on twitter, @teachmama, and let’s continue the conversation!
Check out bloggers Amy Mascott and Allie McDonald's book, Raising a Rock-Star Reader: 75 Quick Tips for Helping Your Child Develop a Lifelong Love for Reading. Get expert advice and learn new strategies for your young readers.