Back to School

Anyone who knows me (and hasn’t seen my house recently) knows that I love organization. I.Love.It. But, after a crazy and busy summer, I am finding it difficult to get back into the swing of things and get our family on a school schedule and routine. Here are some great tips that I have found for making sure the transition is easy.

1. Get a bedtime and waking up routine set NOW! Like yesterday! If your kids (and you) don’t have a set bedtime, back-to-school is going to be pure torture!!! Think about this for a minute. You, as an adult, can’t acclimate to a new sleep schedule in one night – so your kids FOR SURE can’t. Check out this link from Huffpost on how much sleep you need, the dangers of sleep deprivation, and more.

– to help a kiddo get ready for bed, have a set bedtime routine (bath, reading, quiet time, etc.).

2. School Supplies. Normally, by this time of year I have school supplies purchased, and placed neatly into backpacks. I have worked throughout the summer to acquire things here and there, so I always have extra for the teachers, and my pocketbook isn’t flattened all at once. Take some time to get things organized. Check your list, and check it again. Get everything in order and ready for the start of school.

3. Calendar!!! This is a HUGE thing in our house. I have a calendar in my purse, one at work, and two in the kitchen. It’s a lot to keep track of, but I don’t want to forget anything!!! Take a moment to check out your school website, if they have one, and look at the school calendar to make note of any important dates. Mark them on your calendar now, so you don’t over-schedule your family by accident.

4. Does your kiddo take medication during school hours? If so, get that all together, in the original boxes, and have it sitting out and ready to take to the school nurse on open house. This will save a ton of headache later, and eliminate the possibility of you forgetting to send it and your kiddo not having it when they need it.

5. Food List. Make a list of quick and healthy foods you can prepare for breakfast and lunches. If you have this handy it will help your mornings go more smoothly… trust me. We do easy stuff for breakfast – homemade frozen waffles or pancakes, pop tarts, homemade frozen muffins, cereal, granola bars, etc. For lunches, we stick to stuff like PBJ Sandwiches (check with your school to see if these are allowed), fruit, veggie dippers, pretzels or homemade popcorn, fruit snacks, and/or granola bars. We prepare all lunches the night before, as much as we can, and have them sitting in the fridge or on the counter ready to be tossed into lunch boxes in the morning.

6. Lay out expectations before hand. If you expect your child to get up, brush teeth, get dressed, and eat before they are allowed to watch tv – tell them before hand. Make them a checklist and put it in a page protector or laminate it, so they can look at it each morning. If they can’t read, use pictures. If you expect your child to come home and sit straight down for homework (which I don’t recommend – I’ll explain later) then tell them that before school starts. Be clear and concise, but realistic. Remember they are children, you are the adult; don’t give your child expectations they can’t achieve or you will just have a headache later.

The easiest way for me to prepare for school is to think back to the previous year to all the things we had to do and make a list. Then I prioritize them by importance and tackle it one bite at a time. This should be an exciting time for you and your kids. If you are stressed and grouchy, they will be too.

What are your best tips for getting organized for the new school year?
 
Tomorrow: Easy and Healthy School Lunch ideas!
 
Next Monday: The best products for your home to keep you organized during school!!
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