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How to Set Yourself Up for Success This School Year (+ a Free Schedule and Routines Printable!)

If you’re a parent of a school-aged child, you have likely conquered your first few weeks of school. Whether it’s in-person, virtual, or some mix of the two, this year is different! There are less activities for our children to be a part of and there are all types of new guidelines to adjust to… I think we can all agree that nothing feels “normal.”

Desk with a letterboard that says, 'Be Where You Are.'

Before I go any further, I want to remind you that you’re an amazing parent. The fact that you’re reading a blog post about how you can set yourself up for success this school year shows that you want the best for your kids! We are all doing the very best that we can with what we've been given. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to handle this year… trust that you know what is best for your family! 

With that said, many of you have been asking what I’m doing in my home to set us up for success this school year. I wanted to share what I’m prioritizing in my home (along with a bonus printable!) and also share some tips that G+G followers submitted. 

One Way I'm Making This School Year Easier for My Family

It’s no secret that I love order. Hello, I am a professional organizer. ;-) So in order to set ourselves up for success this school year, my family and I have created specific routines + schedules for the time we are spending at home. My kids are currently attending school fully in-person (for now!), but it’s still really important to me that we structure the extra time we’re spending at home outside of school! This includes setting a daily limit on electronic devices and what chores must be accomplished first in order to earn that time.  For those of you who are homeschooling or doing a hybrid model of schooling, having set rhythms and schedules is going to be crucial for your success this year, as best you can.

My team and I put together a free Schedule + Routines printable to help you create some structure in your own home. On the first two pages of the printable, we’ve included a schedule template that you can use to help plan your ideal daily schedule. Feel free to add your child's name to the top and post it in your home!

On the following pages, we’ve included some sample routines that you can implement in your home throughout the day to help create some order to your day!


Back in March, I put together a blog post with My Lockdown Kids' Schedule and Tips (+ Free Schedule Template). In that post, I shared 5 tips for surviving fully virtual school during quarantine, along with an excel schedule template. If your kids are doing school completely virtually, this may be a valuable resource for you! 

I know most of our kids are a few weeks into the school year, but I wanted to share some additional resources I’ve created that speak to transitioning back to school. Though you might already be past the “start” of the school year, they may still be helpful to you! The first post is about How to Prepare Your Child for Online or Hybrid School This Fall. The next is geared toward in-person learning where I share  Back to School Prep: 6 Organization Tips for Parents.

Tips from YOU for Surviving the School Year during COVID-19

Since each of us have such a unique set of scenarios this school year, I knew it would be near impossible to create a blog post that would be able to share helpful advice for every single person. But, in an attempt, I thought it would be helpful to reach out to the G+G community and ask you to share your best advice for surviving this school year! We received some amazing responses.

Pinterest graphic with a photo of a free printable with the title, 'How to Set Yourself Up for Success This School Year.'

Many of our you reminded us that we are all just doing the best we can...

It’s hard! Lots of deep breaths, breaks, and communication with teachers. - J

Take it one week at a time. Nothing is permanent. You can always change the course! - Desiree

Trust the process and trust that your child will be ok. Yes, these are challenging times, but you are building resilience that will carry over for the rest of your child’s life. - Sharon

My tip would be... “fingers crossed and hope for the best.”  Seriously though, that is the attitude and approach I have decided to adopt . . . If I have learned anything from the last half year, it is that we are all resilient and we’ll adapt again when we have to. So my message is this: go with the flow, do the best you can, get informed about the situation in your area and what measures you can take. If you do that, trust the process and let it go. Good luck!  - Tanne

It will work itself out. Your best is good enough! - Nichole

White bins organizing children's books.

Some of you shared really practical ‘hacks’ including using a baby monitor to see your child during virtual school (so smart!) and setting up a device calendar...

My daughter is fully virtual and back in school for a month. We set up an extra baby monitor near her desk so that we are able to hear if she has any technical difficulties or issues during school (she’s very young elementary) but don’t have to be hovering nearby so we can work or get things done while she’s in “class.” - Lauren

Put Zoom links with reminders on the device calendar so your kids can click and join on their own! - Amy

We have done a lot of practice wearing masks before school started. - Paige

Use small digital kitchen timers for young kids and their breaks! - Lindsey

Have enough masks for each day of the week, as well as back-up masks in their backpacks. - Jamie

Keep a master document with all of the passwords and logins! - Elizabeth

Create designated workspaces. Use color-coded schedules and a to-do list pad! - Barb

Set up a good learning spot. My daughter has her desk and chair, along with plants and candles! - Sonya

Shelf with file folders for various paperwork.

Many of you shared helpful tips about routines + schedules… 

Establish a routine, but have reasonable expectations for both you and your children. - Megan

Use block scheduling! Especially for children under 7 years old. This way, the schedule can flex with their needs and capacity. - Lanne

Get everything that you can ready the night before. Down to the socks and the masks. To help make sure mornings run smoothly! - Kelly

We’re trying to get outside and offset the structured school hours with completely unstructured outdoor time. The fresh air and exercise have been so good for them (and me!) - Briggs

It’s a little distracting, but I let my kids FaceTime their friends in between ‘classes’ to socialize. - Nichole

Lots of you reminded us that we are the ones who get to set the tone of the year and encouraged us to remember what is most important...

Remember that your kids look to you when they are anxious. Keep your tone positive and hopeful! - Liz

Your relationship with your child is more important than any math problem! - Kelly

Patience and positivity. - Tyann

And of course, we have some crucial tips for parents, too. ;-) 

Set aside a healthy budget for wine. - Sharon

Vodka works better than wine. - Evelyn

You can do it, friends! I am so proud of you already.

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