The reminders are in; these are the email blasts from the school or the fellow parent we run into on the street. School is weeks away and like it or not — we need to get mentally ready. Or you can go into denial which I fully back anyone on this thought system, but that is another post for another day.
As a parent who is ten years in, I have become much better at preparing for the school year. This is mostly through trial and error. I have learned I am much calmer if I have my sh*t together. Now with one at his last year of elementary and a 3-year-old starting preschool, I am back to starting all over again with the orientations, the forms and knowing I may have a little guy crying for a few weeks as we make this big adjustment.
Check Out 7 Timely Tips for Tackling the School Supply List
The School Supply List
I have tackled the school list early and at the last minute. If you tackle it early, it is just one huge task to check off your list. Last minute is perfectly fine, and I have always gotten everything I needed the day before school starts, however, it is stressful and I do find it best to minimize the anxiety before the school year has even begun.
Back to School Clothes
With BTS clothes, I try not to go completely crazy. I assess what my kids need and buy a more transitional wardrobe to start the school year off. A few tee’s, some bottoms. For my toddler, I do tend to buy a bit more as I have noticed his sizes sell out fast, and by the time I wrap my head around what he needs, I cannot find his size. So I will study what he has and what he has outgrown. If you are looking for affordable school clothes, it’s time to start shopping now with the best sales and deals.
A Few Tips for BTS Shopping:
- Buy the essential pieces your kids need now.
- Hold off on buying the winter pieces if they are not yet on sale — if there are deals then buy away.
- If your kids are older and have an opinion of what they want, include them in the decision making. You will have less to return if you include them in contributing within reason of what they want to wear for the school year.
I am not ashamed to admit that I now have an agreement with my oldest. If he doesn’t lose one item the entire school year, I will him pay him $$$ in June. I frankly was so tired of all the water bottles, jackets and even backpacks that were lost through the early years that I started this deal. We are now on year 3 of this ‘agreement,’ and he hasn’t lost one thing. If bribery is not your thing, then label every single item your child owns. Check out Back to School Labels Guide: A Label for Every Parent & Child.
Make Sure All Forms Are Up to Date
Make sure all the forms such as medical and anything that needs to be signed for afterschool are up to date and have been forwarded to the appropriate person/organization.
The Morning School Routine
It is smart to get back to a sleep routine at least a week before school starts, but in all honesty, we always wait until the bitter end, taking the summer in and just enjoying those last days. So what I try to do is get into a routine at least two to three days before. I also go over with my oldest about what needs to happen for us to have a stress-free morning routine each school year. Any parent knows it can go either way on school mornings, so all we can do is try. My oldest is always nervous for drop off on the first day of school. And, as the kids stand in line for the new year, their little faces get me every time. I still tear up knowing that it’s a bit nerve-wracking. I try to be supportive and not a nag — at least the first few days.
Snack for Kids
I actually have a husband, but he often travels, so I am on my own when it comes to the many morning and night routines. I also work full time (I know, cue the violin!) and this means I have to be organized or I will be a hot mess in the morning. I buy the non-perishable snacks early and tend to purchase foods that I know can be easily packed up over the weekend so I can grab them the night before or in the morning. One tip I received from a seasoned mom years ago was to have a snack drawer or shelf. These are the parent-approved snacks that can be grabbed quickly, or the kids can easily grab after school.
Home Smart Device
Last year we added a Google Home in our kitchen. I wasn’t quite sure if I would be comfortable upgrading our home into a smart room, but it has been a game-changer in how we organize ourselves as a family.
Daily Uses That Can Help Get Out the Door Quicker:
- The Temperature
Asking for the temperature may not seem like a big deal in the scheme of things, yet when you live in a state where the temperature can change in hours, this is vital information to know. I have two humans besides myself to dress for the day, and with both kids having school time outdoors, I need to dress them appropriately. I ask while sifting through the kids’ closets, pick accordingly, and we’re out the door.
- Shopping List
A fellow mom friend shared her most useful time-saving tip she uses with her Alexa, and this is a shopping list, gasp! I didn’t think of it, and I love lists! This is a huge time saver for me as our Google Home is located in the living room where I have my workspace and can dictate a shopping list while I type away on my computer. Yay-another time saver for me.
Another biggie. I set up a timer for when I am cooking or when I warn my son he has an hour left on the iPad. I’m becoming famous for the 15-minute warning that I give before bedtime or when we need to be out the door. There is a finality in hearing the chimes when the time is up that for some miracle my oldest does not fight or whine when he has to lock it down for the night.
I set up reminders such as to remember to bring my sons’ field trip slips when the school library shifts are happening at my son’s school and important appointments for the entire family.