Getting back into the groove after summer break can be difficult for mom and kids. Over the past several weeks routines have been lax, clothes haven’t necessarily matched, and there has been a lot less paper to keep up with!
Everything is about to change and if you aren’t careful, those first few weeks back to school can hit you like a ton of bricks!
I am a planner. I like to tackle the issues before they arise. Okay, to word it better… I attempt to plan. We all know when it comes to kids the situation can be unpredictable!
Last year, when Wesley started Kindergarten, I needed a way to keep up with it all. I needed a central place for all of the papers, notices, events, fundraisers, bookbags… everything.
So, I created a family command center, and it is one of the best things I have ever done for organization!
As Wesley enters 1st grade and William enters Kindergarten, this is our first real summer break. In the past, the boys have stayed in preschool/daycare over the break.
The boys have always had a routine. We very rarely strayed from it… until this summer. Getting back into a routine is going to be hard for us all!
We’ve already gotten our school supplies lists and meetings on the calendar for the first week of school. There’s so much more to remember in grade school compared to preschool!
So, I needed some tips on how to make this an easier transition for us and thought others may need them too. Who better to ask for tips than…
Moms. Moms who see things differently. Moms who have great ideas. Moms who have done this before.
13 of the Very Best Back to School Tips from Moms
Start Planning Early
Sarah of Herritage River LLC:
For me its all about avoiding the back to school rush, when the stores get crazy! I like to start early in the midsummer getting things purchased and crossed off the list.
I also recommend finding what you can online through Amazon. Saves so much stress and anxiety then cramming last minute and fighting your way through busy stores.
More about Sarah…
Sarah is a nature loving mom of two adventurous kids. You can normally find her outside enjoying the great outdoors, or cooking up something new in the kitchen.
Make Contact with Teachers
Tiffany of Saving Talents:
Get the contact information for each your children’s teachers. After the first couple of weeks of school, send an email to the teacher with all of your correct contact information. Sometimes the school database doesn’t have all of the information.
Also ask if the teachers need anything for their classroom (if you can afford it), and be clear that you want to be an active part in your child’s education.
More about Tiffany…
Tiffany Thomas is a chocoholic former math teacher and homeschooling mom with Crohn’s Disease. She and her husband Phillip (who is an engineer) work together on the blog Saving Talents. They enjoy spending time with their family, geeking out over sci-fi together, and saving money.
Include the Kids on Meal Decisions
Joleisa of joleisa.com:
Let the kids help with deciding on meal ideas from breakfast to dinner. No use shopping for things they will not eat. It also helps with food waste (that teachers see a lot), and everyone is happier.
Get their help in preparing lunch boxes too. They will be more inclined to eat it if they have prepared it.
More about Joleisa…
Joleisa.com is a penny Pinchers’s paradise. It is run by frugal lifestyle bloggers and identical twin sisters Jo and Leisa. In 2018 it was shortlisted for the best frugal blog in the UK. The girls are parents to an 18 year old and a 20 year old, but they also foster kids from birth to 18 years.
Organize a Shopping Trip
Betty of Mombrite:
Set a dedicated day to go shopping with your kids for school supplies.
Sit down with your child before going to the store and write a list for all the supplies he or she needs for school. This way, you and your kid don’t forget anything or get distracted with unnecessary items as you browse the shelves.
Make clear to your kid that if the item is not on the list, you are not buying it. This eliminates your kid whining to buy everything “cool” he or she sees in the store.
Your kid will enjoy having a say in which items he or she gets to use in school and it’s a great way to bond with your kid as well.
More about Betty…
Betty Boiron is a quirky mom blogger who strives to inspire other moms to embrace motherhood as the hot mess it is. She lives in sunny SoCal with her husband and her two beautiful children. When she is not busy chasing after her kids or digging herself out of piles of laundry, you can find her writing on her blog Mombrite.
Shannon of Southern Blessed Chaos:
A couple of weeks before school starts every year, I plan a separate shopping date with each child.
We buy school clothes, hit that supply list, and have lunch!
I know summer break is soon to end and getting back into the school routine is hard. So, I use this opportunity for a little one on one time with just them.
I think they look forward to our date as much as I do!
More about Shannon…
Shannon is a southern mom to two kids with special needs. She is fueled by coffee and thrives on chaos, while sharing laughter, love, and a lil’ southern charm!
Reintroduce a Bed Time
Colleen of Good Bye Anxiety, Hello Joy:
One week before school starts be sure to get back into a regular sleep routine similar to the one used during the school year.
It takes several days for a child’s sleep patterns to even out. Starting school refreshed, rather than tired, can have a positive impact on the way a child responds to the first few days back to school.
More about Colleen…
Colleen is the mother of two, a former teacher, and blogger at Good Bye Anxiety, Hello Joy, where she shares her family’s journey with child anxiety while offering support to parents and teachers who have an anxious child in their life. When she isn’t writing about anxiety or advocating for children with anxiety, she enjoys the beach, fresh chocolate chip cookies, and the sound of her children’s laughter.
Myrtle of DIY With My Guy:
We always take back-to-school pictures with either a chalkboard, letter-board or even a printout. It always says their grade, age, and what they want to be when they grow up.
It’s a great keepsake to look back at how much they have changed, not only their looks but their career choices.
More about Myrtle…
Myrtle focuses on living simply, well, and with good intent. On her blog, DIY With My Guy, she loves to share budget-friendly DIYs, organization & cleaning hacks and positive vibes to help others live a more productive and intentional life.
Name Brand Isn’t Necessary
Megan of Stories of a (Fill In The Blank) Mom:
You child does not need the $3 folder when the 50 cent folder will do fine.
Go to the Dollar Store. Go to 5Below. You can get everything you need at those 2 locations.
Save your money for clothes.
DO NOT BUY NAME BRAND! I don’t care what the supply list says. It does not have to be Crayola. Nothing has to be a specific brand.
Get the good backpack. (not the $20 one, but not the $5 one either) You want it last through the school, but they don’t need it to last till they graduate.
More about Megan…
Megan is new to blogging. She is a very raw and honest mom and does not sugar coat things. If you ask her, she is going to tell you how it is.
Use Mailing Labels
Stacey of Blessed Mama Life:
Create mailing labels with your child’s name on them and use those to label supplies. This way you don’t have to write your child’s name 100 times!
More about Stacey…
Stacey is a mom to two littles, ages 1 and 2. She is also a middle school teacher. In her spare time (if that even exists), she likes to blog, organize, and read.
Buy in Bulk
Laura of Lala to Mama:
School supplies can be expensive. I have learned that if you can find 1-2 other moms in the same class or grade you can often share school supplies and get them cheaper by buying in bulk.
More about Laura…
Laura’s blog, Lala to Mama, is full of parenting advice, tips and tricks, family adventures and family-friendly recipes. She created her blog to share knowledge, so that not every mom has to learn on their own. Laura believes that parenting is hard and it takes a village. She encourages moms to support and encourage each other!
Stephanie of Munson and Magnolias:
I like to use plastic drawers to lay out outfits for the week. Prepping this on Sunday night helps our mornings go more smoothly.
More about Stephanie…
Stephanie is a busy mom, kindergarten teacher, blogger, and crafter.
Plan Activities After Consideration
Patti of Whatsoeverish:
As you begin the new school year, consider each activity carefully. You don’t want to overbook your children (and yourself) with activities.
Consider each activity and decide if it’s “good, better or best” for you child.There are so many activities so only choose those that benefit your child the most.
More about Patti…
Just when Patti thought their child-raising years were over, they were beyond blessed to have a grand baby enter their lives. Little did they know that they would begin the child-raising years over. Ten years into parenting a grand, they feel much wiser and more confident than they did with their own children. Patti and G-paw are a parenting team!
Prepare for Homework
Deb of Deb’s Decorative Life:
If your child dreads homework, let him or her pick out their special folder, composition book, pen and pencil that can only be used during homework time.
Then, after the homework is done, your child gets his or her favorite snack or gets to play that special video game that can only be played after homework is completed.
More about Deb…
Deb is a Lifestyle Blogger who helps busy moms by offering them household and life hacks to be less stressed, so that they can spend more time with their families.
Instill a Routine
Chelsie of Odyssey Mom:
Before school starts, have a designated spot for all school related items.
Create a morning and after school routine. Walk your children through the routine a few times, showing them where everything goes and what is expected before and after school.
Hang hooks at their level in the closet, one for their coat and one for their backpack. Provide two baskets on the closet floor, one for shoes and one for hats and mittens.
Purchase a nice 3 ring binder and store a folder for each child inside with their name labeled on the front. Store important school papers in one pocket and homework in the other pocket.
Do homework at the same time everyday.
More about Chelsie…
Up to her elbows in housework and children, Chelsie, is a mom who loves helping and encouraging other moms with their own struggles. She has great ideas waiting for you on her blog: Odyssey Mom.
13 of the Very Best Back to School Tips from Moms
Any time your routine changes, there is an adjustment period. These awesome mamas have provided some great tips and advice on how we can make it easier for ourselves and our kiddos!
Not only are their tips great, but they are speaking from experience.
“Experience is the teacher of all things.” – Julius Caesar
I know the tips don’t end here. If you have one that was not mentioned… post it in the comments.
As moms, we are fortunate to have each other. Together, we can share and learn!