I know a lot of kids are already back in school, we still have a little over a week before the bus shows up here. We have been gathering supplies, organizing our clothes, replacing clothes that must have magically shrunk (no way my kids are that big!) and starting to get back into the bedtime and morning routines around here and I thought I should do a series of posts on what all goes into operation Back to School.
There will be 4 volumes in total, one of which is a guest post (my first guest!) from Donna Fitzgerald from North Carolina! She has two daughters and is an advocate for safety. Her post will cover some safety concerns in regards to the start of a new school year. There will also be some great information on prepping for the first day, meal planning, and keeping your house running smooth and organized with all the extras that come with schedule changes! I hope you will join me for the whole series!
For some of us, the beginning of a school year represents our kids being another year older. For others the school year is finally here! In our house there is a lot of looking through the yearbook to figure out who their teachers will be, trying to soak up every last bit of summer we can, (it will be winter soon here in Minnesota after all!) taking more pictures than we will ever need and of course, school shopping! My favorite part!
For me, back to school is bittersweet. It’s being so proud and excited to see what is to come, but it is also tearing up as the school bus pulls up and then drives away from the house with our tiny, innocent, excited, loving kiddos on board, knowing they will be graduating in the blink of an eye and maybe they’ll even be a little bit older when they get home by that afternoon! This year, We have two that will be on that big yellow mommy-torture-train. It really is amazing how time flies, I remember talking to my dad when Emma was just a baby about how you really only have 5 years with your kids before the world gets to put their 2 cents in on their lives and the way they look at things, and that was a scary thought. Now she is going into 1st grade.
One way that I deal with all of these things is to get organized!
If I have a plan and everything is ready to go, I am much less stressed when the day comes! So here are a few things I have done to make sure day 1 goes off without a hitch!
- All school supplies are bought, marked appropriately and ready to be dropped off at Open House (no worrying about it on the first day!)
- I went through both of their dressers and closets, filled 2 giant boxes full of clothes, toys, etc. that no longer serve us. (I am going to have a garage sale and donate the rest to a women’s shelter close to our town.) Then I put all of the new clothes away in the closet and locked the doors! No one is wearing school clothes till school starts and NO ONE is going to mess up those beautiful closets unnecessarily! 😉
- I have started our master list of healthy, fun school lunches. The kids decide on things they think would be good and then we make it easy and healthy! I always have a meal plan prepared but if they aren’t feeling what is on the plan, we can switch it up. (If you haven’t already, sign up for my newsletter and get your free meal planning guide and PDF to keep you organized.) Check out the post on our back to school meal planning here!
- I got my planner updated! “no school” days, field trip days, volunteer days, early dismissal days, any and everything that I need to be prepared for is in my planner! Knowing what is going on ahead of time saves tons of stress and helps me stay prepared!
- I plan to enjoy Labor Day weekend with the kiddos, make some awesome memories and tire them out so they are ready for the school night bedtime routine! You do not have to go far and you do not need to spend a ton of money to have an amazing weekend of fun and memory building! Go to a beach, park, splash pad, have a camp out in the backyard with a fire, s’mores and stargazing, the possibilities are endless, but this summer is not!
- Another helpful thing we do is talk. Crazy, I know! But I want to know how the kids feel: nervous, excited, anxious, etc. You never know unless you ask and if you don’t ask while they are little, they won’t tell you when they’re big. If something is going on I want my kids to know they can talk to me whenever, wherever, about anything! I might not like it, I might not agree, but I really want that door to always be open!
I hope this has helped you in your back to school planning adventures! What else would you add to this list? Leave it in the comments and please feel free to share this with your friends and family!