Say good-bye to bathing suit living, sleeping in (if you’re one of those lucky parents!), and the TV babysitter. You’ve got to finish your back to school shopping and get those kids out to the bus stop or car line ON TIME.
Now I know what you’re thinking, “Anne Marie, does school have to start so early in the morning?”
Yes, Supermoms of America, it does and that start time is knocking on your front door. It is time to get your house and kids ready for the challenge to beat the bell. Here is what we are doing to get ready for the school year, and some printables celebrate the start of another school year!
Back to School Prep
Create a Routine
I have learned through trial and error that my kids do so much better with a routine. Even if it is a routine they hate. A few days ago I sat down and thought about what all I needed to make our days run more smoothly, and I wrote it down, this is the key. You are more likely to remember things if you right them down. Once I had my routine designed, I made some wall art and hung it up in our main living space so we couldn’t help but see it daily.
I took some cork board squares, painted them with chalk paint, wrote down the bullet points of our routine, and hung them at my “command center.” I also have our weekly calendar and “What’s for Dinner?” hanging here. By keeping all important information in one location there is a better chance of following the routine, oh and by having the menu posted #EatItOrStarve is going better.
Review and Practice the Routine
Just because you have put together this great plan and command center there is NO GUARANTEE that on the first day of school everyone will do what they need to. They say it takes 21 days to make a routine a habit. In this house we are hoping that 2 weeks will be enough. Starting today we are completing our morning routine to a tee so that we are all ready when the big day comes. If you are out of time to practice before school starts, just stick to the routine you have created! As with anything, the kids are looking to us to lead and will follow our example. This is exactly why my kids love computers and devices…hmmm.
Create a Homework Station
This does not have to be some big, Pinterest-y thing (even though there are many there). Heck, I actually LOL’d while scrolling through them, but it makes sense. Just create a designated space and time for homework to be completed, and maybe grab a few of the essentials to have on hand. When I was picking up the last bit of our lists I picked up some extra pencils, markers, scissors, and notebooks. Now is the time to buy this stuff because in October when you realize you need something the prices have all gone back up.
Most schools do some sort of Meet the Teacher event the week before school. Make sure that you are on the contact list with your school and school district to receive notices about these. This is one of the most chaotic days, but also one of my favorites. This is the day when your hand will feel like it is falling off from filling out contact information and where you are going to receive how your child’s class is going to work that year. Is there snack time and are there limitations? What day do they have PE? Are they looking for room parents? How do I join the PTA?
Some schools even offer additional events for Kindergarten and new families to get to know the school. Our’s offers a Kindergarten play date with popsicles and bubbles to help ease the nerves of the littles and parents alike. Beware: these events are a gateway drug to becoming apart of the PTA board (ahem).
Test Out Lunches
Does your school have restrictions for items that can be included in homemade lunches, or do you have a picky eater? Now is the time to figure out what you can pack to keep your child full and ready to learn…even if they are going to be eating the same thing every day. Do what works!!!
Also, lunchtime isn’t a competition. You really don’t need to go all bento box crazy unless you and your kid like that. The other moms will never know that you made a Hello Kitty or TMNT themed lunch.
Plan Some Mom (or Dad) Time
Hooray! We survived another summer of dragging our kids all over creation to keep them entertained when all they wanted to do was eat their weight in junk and play video games. Now it is time to relax! Plan to have coffee or lunch with your friends. Drop the kids off and GO BACK TO BED. Explore a local museum or park that you couldn’t before. You will be shocked how less busy they are once all of the summer camps are gone. I personally plan to do a little of all of these and I might sneak in a trip to the beach or SeaWorld Orlando that first week! I don’t think I have ever done something like that alone and it just sounds so fun.
Don’t Forget the Pictures!
While you are celebrating the first day of school make sure to work in time for the ultimate first day of school picture. The past few years I have forgotten until we were walking out the door, but this year I am on top of it! I have made a simple black and white printable for us, and I’m sharing them with you.
What would you add?
Did I miss anything major for back to school prep? When do your kids go back? Do you have a set routine after school? Tell me about it!