SchoolFamily Voices

Connie McCarthy is passionate about her work as a teacher of young children. She has devoted her entire career to making sure that her students do well at school, right from the start. Connie has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She has been teaching first grade in East Providence, R.I. for 23 years, where she received the distinction of “Highly Qualified Teacher” by the Rhode Island State Board of Regents. Connie also taught nursery school for four years, and published numerous articles on early education in East Bay Newspapers in Bristol, R.I. She’s also been published in PTO Today Magazine. She lives with her husband, Brian, and has a daughter and a son, both young adults. Connie enjoys reading, writing about elementary education, and taking long walks with friends. During summer vacations, she likes to travel with her husband. She also loves reading readers’ comments on her weekly blog posts.

Get Your Child Organized for School

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Girl doing homework

At the beginning of every school year, teachers strive to get their classroom management strategies in place. They do this to provide a safe and predictable school environment for all students.

Now is a great time to organize your family’s home/school management strategy, as well. This will ensure proper attention is paid to the steady flow of homework, project information, permission slips, and important school notices.

Here are six easy steps to create an efficient and effective home/school management system.


  • Have a basket, bulletin board, or special file folder for all important school notices or assignments. If you have more than one child in school, have a separate one for each.
  • Keep a large calendar in a place where the family can reference it. Use a special color marker for different events, such as red for assignment deadlines, blue for field trips, etc.
  • Determine a designated homework place. Make sure there is a clear surface to work on, plenty of light, and few distractions.
  • Get your child a special “Homework Folder,” and make sure he has placed finished homework in the folder and backpack before going to bed.
  • If possible, make lunches the night before. Put nonperishables in the lunchbox, and keep perishables on a convenient refrigerator shelf for easy packing in the morning.


It’s also helpful to join the PTO or PTA to gain a better understanding of your child’s school culture, and find opportunities for involvement in the school community.

When you establish effective home/school routines, children thrive from the consistency and reliability. Most important, you will be setting the foundation for a successful school year.

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Do you allow your children to watch TV or play on the computer before doing their homework?