It’s that time of year again. Summer is ending and we have to start thinking about sending the kids back to school. This year, Caleb will be starting 7th grade (Junior High, eeeep!), Kyleigh will be starting 3rd grade, and Luca will be heading to preschool again, this time 3 days a week, for 2 and a half hours a day. For us, back to school means shopping for clothes and school supplies and getting back into a routine. I don’t know about you, but all of this stresses me out. So I like to have a plan in place and some goals set to help all of us make this transition easier.
1. Start meal planning – This summer (and every summer), I totally neglected meal planning. With vacations, pool days, bike riding, trips to the park, we never know when we will be home, so we usually just make whatever we can find in the house or make 100 trips to the grocery store every week. Totally not possible during the school year. With practices, games, lessons, etc., it is necessary to have dinner planned every night. I’ve been pinning like crazy, and I see a lot of Slow Cooker meals in our future.
2. Stock up on school/craft supplies – My plan for this year is to purchase not only the regular school supplies that are needed, but some extra craft supplies to have on hand as well. Because every year, the kids come home with an assignment to make an “About Me” poster or some crazy diorama. So this year, I’m going to have plenty of glitter pens (Kyleigh’s jam), stickers, and glue handy.
3. Ease back into a normal bedtime routine – I don’t know about you, but summer is kind of a free-for-all around here. And that’s very intentional. We let the kids stay up later than usual, making S’mores around our fire pit, watching Disney movies, catching fire flies, swimming in our Aunt’s pool. Because that’s the stuff memories are made of. But with school starting up again, we always like to get back into a normal bedtime routine, or mornings will be impossible! That means no more sleepovers in each other’s rooms every night, and in bed at a reasonable time. We like to start this one to two weeks before school starts.
4. Organize the desk/calendar area – There is a separate area in our kitchen where we have our desk with the laptop and printer, and my huge wall calendar where I write down EVERYTHING. I circle the days that we have Caleb and Kyleigh, because they like to know when they will be at each house. I write down everyone’s activities, appointments, meetings, birthday parties, etc. And I color-code by family member. Works pretty great. So my goal for August is to start updating the calendar and cleaning up the mess that is our desk. I also am in the market for a nice planner that I can keep in my diaper bag, if anyone has any suggestions!!
5. Organize clothes – This is probably one of my least favorite things to do. This is how I handle it: I pack away the majority of their summer clothes except a few short-sleeved shirts and shorts. I go through last year’s fall/winter clothes to see what still fits them. I put those items in their closets and dressers. The items that don’t fit, I will either send to Thred Up, or donate. Then, I make a list of what each child needs before we do our school shopping. I did this for the first time last year and it worked so well!
6. Plan a few end-of-summer adventures – Back to school time can be overwhelming and stressful for everyone, including the kids. So we like to try and plan a few fun things at the end of August to keep everyone in a happy and relaxed state of mind. So far we have Kyleigh’s birthday party, a trip to visit Pappy and Grandma, and a day at the County Fair planned!
I would love to hear some of your back to school tips!!