We are looking forward to the new school year and performing for school assemblies, Girl Scout events, etc. To make your transition easier, here are ten back to school ideas and tips that can help you have a smooth transition from those laid-back summer days to the school year ahead for you, your kids, and your home.
Soon enough your kids will be heading back for another year of school, and that will mark a new set of challenges in your home.
You’ve got to get back in the swing of things, getting ready for each school day, keeping up with homework and after-school activities and extracurriculars, and continue to keep the house under control.
You’ve also got to get used to new routines both at home and in the classroom, and get comfortable with the new schedule.
To do all that, and not feel like things are spinning out of control, here are some wonderful back to school ideas and tips we can all use:
Idea 1: Get In The Habit Of Getting As Much Ready The Night Before As Possible
One of the hardest parts of the school day comes right at the beginning. You know what I’m talking about, right?
It’s always a bad start to your day when you and your kids are rushing around trying to get yourself and everyone else ready to go before the bus runs or you have to get out the door.
It can be a flurry of packing lunches, signing homework or permission slips, scarfing down breakfast and not having enough time to brush teeth properly.
That’s no way to start the school day.
Instead, when you actually take the time, the night before, to do as much as possible that needs to get done for the next morning everything runs so much more smoothly and your day just seems to be better.
Idea 2: Create A Morning Routine For Each Family Member
Of course, not everything can be done the night before. Try to develop a morning routine to get done those things each morning that need to be done before getting out the door.
Most likely this routine is a bit different than the one you had over the summer with your kids at home all day.
To help with the transition, start the routine a few days early, just to get the swing of things and get them ready to be ready on time in the morning once classes begin.
Idea 3: Set Out School Clothes For Your Kids A Week At A Time
One of the things you and the kids have to do in the morning is get dressed. This next back to school idea can help streamline this task each morning.
Deciding on outfits can suck up way too much time, especially with some of the creative but often questionable color and pattern choices your kids will choose if given the chance.
Therefore, getting their outfits together the night before can be very helpful. Then, they just have to grab it and put it on, no drama, no fuss.
If you really want to be on the ball try getting a five day closet organizer and put together an outfit for each day of the week.
This idea works great for little kids who don’t yet care what they wear to school, it won’t work at all for your older ones. (Although you could do it for yourself and really streamline your mornings if you wish.)
Idea 4: Create a School Lunch Packing Area In Your Fridge & Pantry
If you pack your kids’ lunches this can be a big time suck or can be done quite easily, depending on how organized (or not) you are about the process.
Try creating an area in your pantry and another in your refrigerator for school lunch supplies, so you (or your kids) can grab what you need quickly when packing up your lunch either the night before or the morning of school.
It can also save time to have things already packaged in individual servings, either purchased that way or divided and separated after you come home.
Further, make it easy for your kids to carry a nutritious lunch to school by stocking plenty of appropriate containers, ice packs and other coolers, and thermoses.
Idea 5: Create A Launching Pad For Your Morning Stuff, Including Backpacks
One of the things that can keep your family from getting out the door on time in the mornings for school is rushing around gathering up all the things you need to take out the door each morning.
Not only should you gather all this stuff up the night before (as mentioned in Back to School Ideas #1 above) but you should create a “launching pad” for all these items so they’re consistently kept in the same area each day and are easy to grab in the morning.
Idea 6: Stock Up On School & Office Supplies At The Same Time
Once you’ve got your mornings under control, there is still the matter of the rest of the school day to contend with.
Before your kids ever even head out for the first day of school you’ll need to stock up on back to school supplies. There are lots of Back-to-School sales right now – make sure I get the best deal possible.
One way to save time and money at the same time is to strategically work these back to school sales to get additional kids’ art supplies and home office supplies that you need or want for your home at the same time.
Remember, you need supplies for your kids at school, but also some supplies at your home for them to use when doing their homework each afternoon or evening too.
Idea 7: Label Your Kids’ Supplies And Stuff So It’s Easier To Find In Lost & Found
Once you’re home with all those supplies take the extra time to label anything you would be upset to have get lost and not easily identified for return.
If you’ve got kids, you know this is one of the most important back to school ideas, because kids are always laying things down and forgetting where they put them.
Fortunately, schools have lost and found boxes, but it can be difficult to dig through all the stuff to find what is yours. Make it easy on yourself and others by letting everyone know whose item it is without too much guesswork. Then, you’re much more likely to actually get your expensive stuff back.
You should label all school books and other supplies, as well as expensive clothes (such as winter coats), backpacks, and even shoes.
Idea 8: Clear Out Your Kids’ Backpack Daily (With Their Help)
Do you rely on your kids to keep their backpacks organized and tell you about the things you need to know about, read and/or sign. How many announcements, homework assignments and permission slips have you missed? You may want to help your kids go through their backpack each day after school while you discussed what happened during the day.
If you do this daily it doesn’t take very long at all, keeps you from missing stuff, and trains your children how to do it themselves so when they are older they can keep things organized and under control with less supervision and intervention from you.
Idea 9: Make A Designated Quiet Homework Area In Your Home
Create a designated quiet homework area in your home so your kids can get their homework done without too many distractions, and with all the needed supplies close at hand. This area for your kids to do their homework in doesn’t have to be elaborate, and further doesn’t have to be exclusively for homework.
Idea 10: Start Your Year Over When The School Year Starts
It’s no wonder some calendars don’t start in January, but instead start with August — because that is the start of the next school year, and it feels like a new beginning for everyone, not just kids but parents too. While getting your kids back into the swing of things, why not get yourself into some better habits too?
Idea 11 (this one from The Mystery Shop): Book your Mystery Shop school assemblies now
Talk to your children’s teachers, PTO, principal, Girl Scout leaders, etc. about booking a Mystery Shop show this school year. Your kids will learn deductive reasoning, observation and recall, teamwork, and communication skills as they solve one of our age-appropriate mysteries! Don’t forget our Back-to-School special: $20.00 off a single performance; $50.00 off two or more performances.
Enjoy the new school year. Winter break will be here before you know it!