But, usually by the end of Summer, I am ready for a schedule. I am ready for my kids to go and learn from others. I am ready to go back to teaching preschool.
Thinking about going back to school stresses me out though. There are so many things to think about and do. So I thought I’d compile a list of great ideas that I have for my own family along with some other ideas other blogging momma’s have.
1. Physically Ready- The first thing I think about is getting my kids physically ready for school. School clothes, backpacks, lunchboxes, supplies, hair cuts… the list goes on and on. Here are some things that help keep me sane, with a little $ left in my pocket.
- Yard Sales… they are my best friend. My mom lives up the hill from me and she always comes and picks me up at 7:30 AM and we are the first ones at the yard sales to get the best stuff. It depends on where you live, but around here there are AWESOME yard sales. My kids don’t care if they are wearing used clothing. They know that I wouldn’t buy clothing that was dirty, stained, gross, or covered in pet hair. We wash it, and they are good. I seriously bought my daughters WHOLE school wardrobe for about $40 this year. That includes everything name brand (not that it matters to me, but she is going into Jr. High this year, and it’s starting to matter a little more each year.) Also at yard sales, I keep my eyes peeled for school supplies. I found her a great trapper keeper today for $1. Those things are about $15 at the store… waste of $!!!! I think it’s ridiculous.
- Wait until everything is on sale at Wal-Mart or Target. You can get notebooks for 10 cents, crayons for 25 cents, and the list goes on and on. Just keep looking at the ads and get there first. Or, even better, if you have a little extra mulah, buy enough for next year, or buy enough to have a little supply at your house when things run out.
- Shoes… these are important. If you are smart and spend a little bit extra on NICE shoes, they can last the whole year long. Look for sales throughout the summer. Buy a half a size bigger than they need so they can grow into them.
- Buy your childs shoes and clothing a little bit bigger than they need so they can grow into them.
- Hair… I cut my childrens hair myself. My husband practically forced me to learn because he didn’t have to pay someone every time he needed a hair cut. I’m so glad he did. I save a fortune on hair cuts. I even taught myself to cut my girls hair. I can trim it when they need it. It’s really easy. I leave their hair long (they like it that way) that way, if I mess up, someone can fix it and it won’t be a drastic change. If you are brave, you can watch some videos on YouTube and try it yourself. Better yet, ask a friend that cuts hair to give you some classes in exchange for babysitting or something. Or you can even exchange hair cuts for babysitting 🙂
- Learn how to mend clothing… ‘nuf said.
2. BED TIME- Getting back on a sleeping schedule is a hard thing for my kids. I am really lenient on their bed time during the summer. During the school year my children’s bed time is 9:00 PM. This means that at 8:00 PM we start getting “ready” for bed. Wash up, brush teeth, get in jammies, pick up the house, read scriptures and say family prayer. Then at 8:30 PM it’s reading time. This way they are getting in the required reading time for their homework and are winding down for sleep. About 2 weeks before school starts, we start this routine again. I also start waking them up when they should be waking up for school.
3. Prepare and Organize the Homework Area- At our house, my kids do their homework at the kitchen table. I sit with them and help them when they need it. Sometimes it’s gathering around the huge ottoman we have. I have a closet that we use for organizing homework supplies. See this post here to see how I do this with a shoe organizer.
When the kids get home from school, they immediately empty their backpacks WITH me so I can see what they have brought home and so we can get their homework ready. When homework is done, it goes right back into their backpacks, ready for tomorrow. They hang their backpacks on the wall going to the basement, right across from the “homework closet”.
4. Mentally ready- Lot’s of conversations with my children help them prepare for school. Reminding them about how to treat their friends. Talking about what to do when they feel hurt by someone. Talking about how their teacher is.
Creative Connections for Kids has a great article just for grown ups who are sending their child to Kindergarten for their first time: Grown-Ups~ Are you ready for Kindergarten?
Reading some good books also helps too! Here are some awesome links to a list of back to school books to read:
- Buggy and Buddy has a great list of books as well with a little excerpt of each book. Facebook Pinterest
5. School Lunch and After School Snacks- My kids usually eat school lunch because I have decided that it’s worth it to me to not have to worry about packing a lunch every day. Anything that makes my life easier has my vote. I used to have to pack a lunch for them every day when they went to a charter school, and let’s just say, it wasn’t my favorite thing. I am not creative at all when it comes to a variety at lunch time. Some of you love it, and to you I give you this bloggers ideas:
Mess for Less school lunch ideas! Check them out here.
I don’t know about you, but my kids are STARVING when they get home from school. Here are some great posts with ideas for after school snacks:
- Notes for your childs lunch box are such a great pick me up for your child in the middle of the day, just when they need it. They’ll open their box and there will be a note just for them from you. Even if they aren’t old enough to read, this collection has blank notes for you so you can draw them a picture or write your own note. I love the quotes on these. Check them out HERE.
- And only for my awesome readers, you can get these notes at 50% off!! Use the code TIPS50 during checkout! *NOTE: this coupon is only valid for these lunch box notes.
6. First Day of School: The first day of school is bittersweet. I hate to see them leave for such a long time, but I am so happy for them to go and learn new things, make new friends, and have a lot of fun! I want my kids to remember how much I love them so I always make or get them a greeting card. I find the perfect one that fits their personality and write them a letter letting them know how special they are to me. I secretly sneak it into their backpacks the night before the first day of school. I want them to stumble upon it and read it in private. The night before school starts I also have the kids do a little interview with their dad. We are LDS, and he is a priesthood holder, so he also gives them a Fathers Blessing (or special prayer) for the beginning of the school year. We have a great breakfast, take a quick picture of them all together and separate, and off they go! I usually am with the younger ones, walking them to their classroom, helping them find their cubbies, and of course, taking a picture of them in their classroom.
Here are some other fun “First Day of School” traditions I have found that I might just have to try this year…
- First day of school pictures: Read about ours and download your FREE photo props for the first day of school HERE.
- First Day of School Interview from Childhood Beckons
- Make a first day of school GIANT cookie, Bomb the Bus and Measure your child…HERE. ideas from How Does She?
- Make a SCHULTUETE… find out how HERE from Simply… This. That. And the Other.
- Write a message to your kids with sidewalk chalk on the sidewalk as they leave the house… HERE. From Meg Cox.
- Start a School Binder to hold memories, pictures and important homework for each child. Get your FREE printables HERE from Thirty Handmade Days.
I hope this “little” post helps you de-stress a little bit about back to school. Or maybe I just made it worse making you think you have to do all this to be a successful mom! Trust me. All your child needs is your love and support to have a successful school year. Everything else comes second. Pick and choose what works for you and your family and have a great year everybody!
If you have some fun back to school tips to share, please link up! Just be sure to grab the Back to School Kid Blogger Network below and add it to the bottom of the post you link up.
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I would LOVE to hear about your Back To School Tips too! Do you have any fun traditions? Leave a comment below…
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