Are you ready for back-to-school season? While you might be preparing to get the kids out of the house and back in the classroom, think about how you can prepare your home, as well. Especially when it comes to prepping your kitchen, a place where your schoolkid naturally spends a lot of time before and after school. Plus, education doesn’t stop when the school bell rings and the kids come home. Luckily you already have the perfect spot for keeping up with school and fostering a learning environment at home: the kitchen.
Start by establishing a command center. A common feature we see in kitchen design is the idea of establishing a desk space in the kitchen. It makes sense when you think about how much time we spend in the kitchen on average. Most of the time “kitchen desk cabinets” help create this space, but you can create a school command center in your kitchen without them.
How do you stay on top of all the tasks and requirements from school? Start a command center in the most-used area of your house: your kitchen. Keeping a command center or homebase somewhere in or near the kitchen is a good strategy for never forgetting when your student needs something for school, like money for lunch, a signed permission slip for field trips, or a present for Teacher Appreciation week. This is also where you can set goals for the year and track how its going.
Lunch making and packing is the most obvious use for a kitchen during the school year, but there are strategies that help make it more efficient. Think about how many lunches you or your family make in a year. The average school year is 180 days — that’s at least 180 lunches per kid if they don’t visit the cafeteria. That’s why lunch-packing is a great place to streamline and add some efficiency. (Without forking over more cash for the lunch cafeteria.)
The kitchen is often the last place they visit before leaving the house for the day, and can be the first place a hungry schoolkid goes right off the bus. It makes sense that backpacks would be picked up and dropped off here, but don’t let the kiddos toss backpacks to the floor when they rush in. Create a space to hang those backpacks or store them out of the way. Having them in reach makes packing quicker and ensures that the important things are less likely to be forgotten.
The key to homework success (and completion) is having a space dedicated to it — a space without distractions, where a student can spread out and zone in. Plus, a dedicated homework station in the kitchen lets you keep an eye on the kids and help them through those tough homework problems while dinner is cooking.
The kitchen table or counter is a great space for project completion. Just like cooking, clean-up is easier when you have a clean, clear, and durable space dedicated to it. There’s a reason most people don’t prepare food in the living room (just think of the mess), and the same can be said of messy school projects. Think of the glue, the glitter, the paper scraps, and all the other parts that come with making an A+ project.
With strategies like these in place, you can set up your school year to run more smoothly with less effort — all while enjoying your kitchen.
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