This post might be late for some of you, since I have seen friends share on social media that their kids are already going back to school! What?! They didn’t even get the whole summer off! I’m thankful my daughter goes back August 27th, so we have a couple more weeks to enjoy summer and prepare for third grade. Even if your kids have returned to school already, these ideas may be helpful to get organized and make this school year a little easier.
Here are 10 helpful tips to make Back To School a little easier.
SCHEDULE IMPORTANT DATES
Take some time and plan out any upcoming events in August and September. Schedule any last minute summer vacations, playdates, haircuts, doctor appointments and any other important events to avoid scheduling them during the school year. After you have these important dates scheduled, make sure to write them in your planner or type them into your phone’s calendar.
DECLUTTER + ORGANIZE
This does not have to be a huge Spring cleaning, but quickly go through each room to see if there is anything taking up valuable space that you just don’t need or want anymore. Get rid of the things your family accumulated over the summer that is not purposeful or you don’t love anymore. Sort through your items and decide if they belong in the keep, donate/sell or trash pile.
Throw out that trash pile…it will feel so good! If you decide to donate your unwanted items, research your local donation sites and schedule a drop off time. If you decide to sell your unwanted items, you can either list them on a Buy/Sell/Trade site or this would be a great time to have a Fall yard sale.
Now that you have cleared out your spaces, take this time to organize. The items in your keep pile can be stored neatly or displayed in your newly organized spaces.
SET UP A HOMEWORK SPACE
I have found that my daughter gets her homework done faster and retains more if she has a dedicated space to complete homework + projects and has a special reading spot. Set up these spaces so that your child can get their needed quiet time and organize them in a way that works for your child – you might be surprised how your child sets up his/her space.
AM + PM ROUTINES
It will make life a whole lot easier if you spend some time now thinking about how last school year went and identify your family routine’s pain points. Pain points are things that make mornings hectic and leave you frazzled even before you get out the door. Look back and identify what worked and didn’t work last year. Keep doing what worked well and brainstorm ways to lessen or resolve the things that caused chaos.
SET UP YOUR SYSTEMS
Now that you have brainstormed ways to address your family’s pain points, set up those systems now so that you can practice them before the start of school. Systems can be as simple as a morning checklist for your child to make sure he/she has done everything before you head out the door. This system helped our family last year and gave our daughter more independence when getting herself ready for school. She knew what to expect and completed some tasks on her own. This made my mornings easier too! Other systems could include a designated spot for backpacks or shoes so you aren’t scrambling to find them in the mornings. Set up a tray or box that parent paperwork goes into so you don’t forget to sign that field trip form or book fair form. Get a message board or calendar that everyone can jot down upcoming important tasks or events.
SHOP EARLY FOR BTS SUPPLIES
I am the worst for this, but don’t wait until the last week to buy school supplies. As soon as you get the supply list, schedule a day to go shopping. This way you can plan early enough for your budget and you’ll have time to get supplies if an item was out of stock.
SCHOOL CLOTHES + UNIFORMS
Before school starts, try on last year’s uniforms or this summer’s clothes to see they still fit this year. If you try them on early enough, you’ll know what you need as soon as those Back To School sales start! Saving money!!
We have picky eaters. This was another pain point in the mornings for us when we were packing school lunches and she didn’t want anything. Go ahead and have your child create a list of foods he/she will like for school lunches and snacks. These are already “approved” foods and you can plan the week’s meals. On Saturdays, we sit down with our daughter and meal plan with her for the following week. We post this plan on the fridge so everyone knows what to expect and pack.
START LIVING YOUR ROUTINES
The week before school starts, start living out your planned routines. This way you can see what works and doesn’t work as well as you thought before the first day actually arrives. You can make adjustments along the way. Start your school year bedtime and wake up times to get everyone’s internal clocks ready.
DO SOMETHING FUN!
Do something fun with the kids the week or weekend before school starts. This could be as simple as a weeknight ice cream treat or bigger like a day trip to celebrate the beginning of an awesome school year!
These are just some of the ways we make school mornings and nights a little easier in our home. I hope you found something you would like to try this school year to help your family’s routines. If you have ideas that work for your family, please share in the comments below – it might help another family and I am always up for learning new ways to make life simple.
PIN FOR LATER!