Mom Tips for Back to School

Today’s post comes from regular Momof6 contributor, Crystal Sabalaske!

I have no idea how the summer passed so quickly. I mean, I’m not clueless. I understand the passage of time, but I guess I wasn’t truly aware that the kids will be going back to school in just a few weeks until I actually looked at the calendar.

Before school ends for the year, I count how many days I’ll have to keep the kids busy without edging closer to insanity. Now that the summer is more than half over that 72 day stretch of time doesn’t seem so long. But if you’re not organized, you’ll find yourself racing the clock, trying to squeeze in day trips and the necessary back-to-school organizing.

The most difficult aspect of the whole back-to-school transition is reestablishing the school year routine. Early wake-up times, outfit selection, lunch packing, homework time, and earlier bedtimes can come as a shock to anyone who has gotten used to the lazier days of summer. Parents and kids need to ease their way back into school mode to minimize the arguments and frustration caused by a new school schedule.

So here are some just-for-Mom tips for back to school time!

back to school supplies 500x359 Mom Tips for Back to School!

At Least Two Weeks Before School Starts:

Try on all fall/winter clothes and shoes to see what still fits. Make a list of needed items but only buy things that are needed NOW. Your child could have a growth spurt before winter, and you’ll find some of the best sales near Columbus Day and Black Friday.

Get the backpacks and lunchboxes ready. Most of them can be laundered in cold water on the delicate cycle and left to air dry. If you’re not buying new, clean the ones from last year.

Get a school supply list from your child’s teacher or the school’s website. Search store ads for sales and schedule a shopping trip to purchase needed items. Parenting tip: Kids feel special if you make a “date” day and take each child out for their own day of shopping. It isn’t always possible, but it is appreciated.

Organize bedrooms, homework areas, and “drop” zones (mudroom, entry way) so the morning routine and homework hours aren’t disorganized and chaotic. Designate a home for backpacks, library books, and forms that need to be reviewed by an adult. Don’t forget after school activities. It’s helpful to have a designated tote bag or backpack for each activity so you don’t spend time unpacking and repacking for every activity.

Print and fill out all medical forms, particularly those for asthma and allergy care plans. Fill all prescriptions and drop the forms and medications off at the school PRIOR to the first day of school. If you need a doctor’s signature on any of the forms, call NOW. You don’t want your child to miss the first day of school because you don’t have the required forms.

backpacks new Mom Tips for Back to School!

1 Week Before:

Stock up on lunch and snack foods and supplies like tinfoil and Ziploc bags. Don’t assume your kids still like the snacks they liked last year. I didn’t find out until halfway through the last school year that my son no longer liked the granola bars I was packing him at least twice a week.

Get back into the habit of reading and writing at least 15-30 minutes per day to promote good school habits.

Prepare all school supplies. Sharpen pencils. Label personal items.

Go to bed at an earlier hour, whatever bedtime is appropriate for a school night.

Practice getting up on time by setting the alarm for “school day” time.

Put together a weekly calendar. Once your child brings home the weekly schedule, jot down needed items for each specific day of the week. It’s difficult to remember that gym is on Monday, library is on Tuesday etc.

1 Day Before:

Pick out clothes for the next day

Pack lunches and store in the refrigerator to avoid a last minute scramble to assemble lunches.

Tuck a note in your child’s lunchbox or backpack wishing him/her a great first day

If you get organized before school starts, your easiest job will be to round up the kids, wave to them as the yellow bus pulls away, and then get to whatever it is that you do while your kids are at school. Enjoy that cup of coffee.

Crystal Sabalskee Head Shot 150 px Mom Tips for Back to School!Crystal Sabalaske, owner of Cluttershrink, has appeared as an organizing expert on HGTV. Her organizing tips have also appeared in national publications such as Family Fun, Men’s Health and Parents magazines. For more organizing tips, please follow Crystal on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter!

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