Start a week or two before school starts by getting the kids in bed earlier at night and up earlier in the morning. Start with maybe 30 minutes earlier, working up to the normal school night bedtime and get up time…depending how far off schedule your kids have gotten. The Sunday before school starts, get them in bed early and get them up Monday morning at school time in preparation for the first day of school on Tuesday.
2. Clean the house & de-clutter
If you’re like me, you focus better and are more organized when your surroundings are clean and organized. I had some unfinished home projects, and last week I made the girls get up early and we knocked them out. I knew once school started things would get hectic, we wouldn’t get them finished, and I didn’t want clutter and projects lying around the house. My house and my mind are de-cluttered now.
3. Prepare the wardrobes
Go through the kids’ closets. See what fits, donate what doesn’t fit, and write down essential items of shoes/clothing your child needs for school. Last week, I was able to get my tween 2 colors of skinny jeans at Old Navy for $10 each, then some cute black and cream colored shoes. These were some great staples for her wardrobe, and now we can just pick up new, cute shirts when we see them.
4. School supply shopping
The school supply lists are at Walmart and usually schools will post them online. Start by picking up a copy of the list, then keeping an eye on back-to-school sales. There are commercials on constantly, mailers, flyers in the newspaper, mailers, etc. Stores like Walmart, Publix, Winn Dixie, etc. have big bins of supplies at the front of the stores. Deals are EVERYWHERE! Shop the school supply list before school starts, then if the teacher requests something specific, pick it up after school starts.
5. Snack and lunch ideas
Think about this ahead of time and make a list of snack and lunch ideas that your child will eat and will like. Then actually pick these items up at the store! If you’ve thought it through and bought ahead, it will be so much easier to pack healthy snacks and lunches that first week and thereafter. We will have some great breakfast and lunch ideas here this week!
6. Streamline dinner prep
Don’t forget dinner!! Every week, I plan out the weekly menu for the whole week, Sunday through Saturday, make the whole grocery list from the menu, and shop. This gets the grocery shopping for the week out of the way before Monday, and you have dinner planned for every night of the week. I write the weekly menu down, clip it on the fridge, and it is so nice to just look at the menu, see what I’m cooking, and know I already have all the ingredients in the house. All pressure gone! (See my past and future blog posts for a couple ideas.) We like this cute menu planner.
7. Designated homework area
I teach 2nd grade and have daughters in 6th and 12th. We NEED a workspace. We have made a large draft table type table where each of us can have a side and spread our work out on top. Create a designated homework/desk space for your child, preferably not in their bedroom. There are super cute and easy ideas on Pinterest.
8. Give each child their own space
If you have more than one school age child, make sure they have their own space to work and keep their books and supplies. As I mentioned, we have a large draft table. The 4 “legs” of the draft table are short, wide bookshelves with baskets and containers for organization. Guess what…each bookshelf face a different direction. So, each side of the table has a bookshelf and each of us has our own storage space right at our work area. Works like a charm!
9. Organize the workspace
This doesn’t have to be anything fancy or Martha Stewart like; simple basket for supplies, magazine boxes to hold folders and papers upright, a cup for writing utensils, etc. Children work better and more efficiently if they know exactly where their supplies are located and they’re organized. Take that added clutter away from them and their little minds.
10. Create a master calendar
I know with 2 girls, we have meetings and activities going on all the time. I cannot function without my Lilly day planner, but we also have a large wall decal, dry erase calendar on the wall in our work area and a cork board right beside it. This lets everyone in the family know what is happening on any given day. The cork board comes in super handy for pinning up school newsletters, reminders, doctor appointment cards, etc.
Need ideas? Hit up Pinterest!! There is a world of ideas out there, so you do not have to re-create the wheel. Happy prepping, and have a great first week of school, Tampa Bay moms!!
Our Back to School Series is sponsored by:
Divine Individuals with Virtuous Attitudes (D.I.V.A), LLC is an enrichment, tutoring and mentoring program for girls’ ages 6-16 years. We work towards enhancing our girls’ thinking to help challenge and accelerate the learning process while working towards setting and accomplishing goals. As experienced educators we pride ourselves on utilizing our knowledge of evidence-based practices throughout all programs to ensure each girl’s success. By understanding each girl’s culture and background we illuminate the qualities they already possess.