This summer has been a great time, but it is quickly coming to an end. With the kids going back to school officially in less than 3 week’s, it’s time to get these guys back into their school day routines. Every year, I say I’m not going to let their routine go out the window during summer, but it always does! There is just too much fun to be had in such a short amount of time! So here are my top 5 ways to get your child prepared to go back to school.
5. Early Wake Up
Yep, the horrid morning alarm! Even though it seems these kids haven’t stopped in weeks, they have no ambition to wake up early. We gradually work into our routine by working back into our regular sleep habits. I start about 3-4 weeks before school begins to work back into an earlier bedtime by increasing when they go to bed by 30 mins every 3-4 days giving them time to adjust before setting it a bit earlier again. We start at 5 am once school starts so it’s bedtime by 7:30 for the 6-year-old and my 12-year-old is in bed by 9. I allow them to wake on their own during this transition until about a week before school, then we start our “back to school practice days” getting up, getting ready and we fix any issues that may arise in our routine before school begins and adjust accordingly.
4. Homework Caddy
This always gets the kids excited about school. Actually, my 6-year-old spent an hour “organizing” all of his old pencils, crayons, glue sticks, glue, scissors, erasers, stickers, markers, calculator etc, into his caddy. This works out wonderful, allowing the kids to keep all of their items in one location, easy to find, easy to grab. Of course, each caddy is individualized for each kid. I allow them to decorate the caddy as they like, and organize it how they think it will work best. I include a small strip of helpful resources on the outside of the caddy such as the alphabet and numbers for smaller kids, measurements, and fractions for older kids. I try to stay a step ahead of what all they will need. Check out my Pinterest Board on Back to School for ideas on how to create your caddy. This works out wonderfully because no matter where they choose to do their homework, which is more often than not, outside at the picnic table during good weather.
I’m not going to label everything in the house, but we do go through each child’s room and remove any extra bulk around the house. Making sure that every item has a “home” where it belongs when not in use. “No home, no live here!” We designate a specific location in their bedrooms to place 5 days worth of outfits. Every Sunday night, as they put away their laundry, they plan their outfits for the week. I offer suggestions after I initially check what they have chosen to wear for the week, but I do not choose for them. Both my son and daughter are quite independent kids, and would be mad if I even tried to tell them what to wear! I just try to eliminate snow boots being worn with every outfit! Both kids also have an assigned location to place backpacks, jackets and additional things they may need such as a trumpet cases. That way, every morning they just grab their items and were out the door. No searching for a lost bag or coat making us late for our first day back to school.
We begin testing different lunch ideas just in case they bombed, we’re still at home, and can make something else tasty! We go through and inventory our containers w/lids, lunch boxes, and beverage holders. It’s a good idea to check how long your thermos will hold food hot or cold. This always turns into a fun science project checking temps and monitoring containers. It works as a great way to introduce the practice of creating a theory and hypothesis to younger kids. The kids get onto Pinterest and decide which recipes they would like to try. It’s shocking what they decide to try, it’s usually items that I would have never thought possible. I will be posting a few back to school recipes soon, please check back for those.
1. School Station
Trying to keep organized with two children who are very active in clubs, organizations, after-school activities, as well as the school activities seems like a never-ending juggling act. Each kid brings home 6-10 pages each day. It’s a difficult task to make sure that you get all important notes. I have set up the school station. This location has:
- Mom & Dad’s inbox – This is only for school calendars, messages, notices, and other important information, folders that need to be signed, homework that needs to be checked.
- The Kids Inbox- All completed homework, artwork, nonnecessities are placed here to be gone through. We pick the best of the best to go on the wall.
- The Peg Board – Holds all notices grouped by each child so that they quickly reference when band practice or fall carnival is. This helps me by keeping each schools calendar in one place, all engagements, field trip, any permission slips can be found on the board.
- The Calendar – This calendar is a mix of school information, such as field trips and after-school activities also PTO & School Board Meetings, birthday parties and any additional kid related events that they have scheduled. This is SO much easier for me to keep up with.
So, I really hope that this information will help you and your family get back to school organized and prepared. I would love to see what you have set up or hear any advice that you may have! Parenting is beyond a full-time job, any advice to make our daily lives easier and more efficient is always welcome! I will be posting more information about Back to School organization, recipes for quick meals and more! You can leave a comment below, or tag me in your Instagram photo at #vcmblog. I will be featuring one visitors submitted photo each week, it could be yours! Good luck!