The back-to-school countdown is on, and with the first day quickly approaching, it’s a good time to start preparations for the new school year.
Things you need to buy ::
Our school participates in the 1st Day School Supplies program, which is one of the most fabulous things ever. This company has everything that your child’s teacher requests, puts it in a box, and mails it to your school, where it’s waiting for your kid on their first day. I didn’t take advantage of this when my son started kindergarten, but I learned quickly that shopping for supplies wasn’t nearly as fun, easy, or inexpensive as I had imagined. I’ll gladly pay the fee and skip the stores and lines.
Backpack and Lunchbox
My son is going into fourth grade, and I’ve only bought two backpacks since he started school. I get his from L.L. Bean, and they are tough and made to last. He is rough on his stuff, and they still last him two years. I’ve even washed them and they come out looking new. As for lunchboxes, I got that from L.L. Bean too, but honestly, I didn’t pack him a single lunch last year. He ate in the lunchroom EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. (I hate packing lunches and snacks, so he just learned to eat what they served. (See next tip re: My School Bucks)
Another cool thing our school uses is the My School Bucks app. It’s a free download on your phone (or you can use their website) where you can deposit money directly into your child’s account, check the balance any time, get alerts when it’s low, and see what they purchase every day. (If the account goes down faster than it should, it could be they are getting ice cream and snacks on the daily). If you pack your child’s lunch, buy items in bulk and use them as needed to save some money.
I look for sales before school, shop the outlets when we are on vacation, and hold on until the consignment sales start in September. Since Alabama stays hot until at least October, kids can wear shorts and t-shirts pretty much until then.
Making things run smoother at home ::
Transition to early bedtimes
Kids have been staying up late and sleeping in during the summer (most of them, anyway), so they have to reset their internal alarm clocks. A week or two before school, start setting their bedtime back a few minutes each night until you get it where you want it. The early mornings will be an adjustment for everyone, but after a week or two of school, hopefully it gets easier.
Use a planner/calendar
There is a lot to keep up with during the school year, and having a dedicated space to keep all the information is a huge help. I’m a paper girl, so I keep a calendar on the refrigerator and a planner in my purse. I do love technology too, and my favorite app is Cozi. It’s free, can be linked to family members, and has great functions besides just a calendar (shopping lists, to-do lists, recipes, and more).
Hang a bulletin board
I found a great deal on a bulletin board at Hobby Lobby last year, and I use it to pin important papers, flyers for upcoming events, reminders, etc.
Designate a drop-off area
Having a dedicated space to hang up backpacks, drop lunchboxes, and put important papers can be great for your sanity (especially if you’re Type-A like me).
Set up a homework station
Create a space for your kids to do homework with plenty of work space and all the supplies they need (pencils, post-its, scissors, etc.)
Get a closet organizer
This can be a huge time saver. Find one that has at least five slots and on Sunday, lay out your kids’ clothes for the entire week. If this is too overwhelming, at least pick their outfit the night before to save time the next morning. You can find them at stores like Walmart and Target, or on Amazon.
Use post-it notes
If you’re prone to forget things, write them down. If I need to send anything to school the next day, I write it on a sticky note and post it on the cabinet so I can see it and have a reminder the next morning.
Oh, and don’t forget to print off your First Day/Last Day of school signs so you can post your kid’s pics on your social media! There are lots to choose from on Pinterest. I actually invested in one I can write on with chalk paint.
I hope these tips will help you get ready for the new school year and save you some time! If you have things you do to help get back into the school routine, please leave me a comment.