Going back to school in person this year has a whole new meaning after the last year of virtual learning due to the pandemic. Make sure to do your “homework” and research in advance to know what your child should expect in the classroom related to masks, social distancing, proper sanitation, etc. Be as prepared as possible and then be flexible and understanding when change occurs.
Focus on Home Organization
Well-designed floor plans and organized spaces keep lives running smoothly this time of year as kids head back to school. Mornings get shorter and afternoons become busier. It is important to design or organize your home with the family in mind for easy living throughout the school year and all year round.
- Mudroom: This area of your home should be well designed to be the perfect drop zone to store miscellaneous items for the entire family. A comfortable bench as soon as one walks into the house is a welcoming place to take off cleats or boots, while coat hooks encourage the kids to keep their outerwear and backpacks off the floor. Personalized baskets hide clutter like sneakers, sports gear and lunchboxes.
- Charging Station: A centralized charging station in a mudroom or other shared area of the house encourages family members to leave their phones and engage in person! The phone or other electronic devise can charge while they take time to unwind from work, sports or school.
- Office Space: Whether you have a small nook or a dedicated room, an office space provides additional storage and a quiet work space for mom and dad. A dry erase calendar can keep track of the family’s ever-changing schedules, along with important milestones to look forward to, like birthdays and vacations.
- Homework Space: The kids need a dedicated area that is conducive to studying and projects. Chances are some of their school work is virtual, so this area needs to be quiet and distraction free for online classes.
- Media Room: A large desk area in the media room makes an organized work space for after school homework. A cubby bookshelf is great for children of all ages to store textbooks, laptops, games or craft supplies, and a built-in window seat creates an ideal spot for reading. Sliding barn doors can easily separate this space from the rest of the home for a quiet area.
Focus on Security
If you have recently purchased real estate in Atlanta and have moved your family in to your new home, you are probably soon going to fill out school registration/enrollment paperwork. Completing the paperwork requires care to ensure that everything is accurate, but it also requires vigilance on your part to protect your child’s identity when the school bus rolls up for the first day of school.
The experts at Equifax explain that going back to school and involvement in sports and clubs both present big opportunities for identity theft to occur, especially since they frequently want as much information about your child as they can get. You should carefully weigh your options when it comes to this information, and be sure to ask questions about why certain personal information is needed. Many groups request full name, date of birth and social security numbers – all the information needed for someone to steal your child’s identity and ruin their credit rating.
To protect your family, be sure to ask and be careful about who you give personal information to. If you aren’t happy with the answers you find about the collection, storage and eventual destruction of personally identifiable information, don’t hesitate to keep that information safe. In addition, be sure to keep the documentation about your child’s identity safe, including Social Security cards, birth certificates or passports.