I probably say this every year around this time but where has summer gone? Every year the summer seems to get shorter and shorter and back to school gets busier and busier. I truly can’t believe all my kids go back to school next week. As they’re gearing up to be reunited with their friends, I’m prepping them for a successful and organized scholastic year. Between the gear, materials, new clothes, scheduling, etc…there is a lot to prepare and get ready for their first days back. While I’m still figuring out a lot of things (and probably always will), there are a few tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years that seem to not only set them up for success but our family as a whole. I wanted to share my back to school survival guide with some of the things I have learned through the years in hopes of helping you all. Please share with me some of the things you have all discovered along the way too. I cant wait to hear some new tips!
Back to School Survival Guide Tip #1 – PLAN AND SCHEDULE ASAP
First and foremost as soon as I receive all of their individual school schedules, Jason and I sit down to fill in a calendar with all the important dates and events. I love this personal planner I found via Global Munchkins! We also like to use a giant visual calendar in our home that we can then continue to fill as other things come up throughout the year but while already seeing if there are any conflicts with their school events. Also visually having their schedules we can plan ahead if we decide to take advantage of the breaks to plan a family getaway. This is also when I do my best to get a head start on planning all their checkups, dental, optometrist, etc… appointments. Scheduling all these sorts of appointments ahead of time helps avoid the last minute trying to be squeezed in type of appointments. Jason and I also use our synced Apple calendar on our phones for a family schedule that keeps use organized between the children’s school schedules and our work schedules. I find this initial conversation between him and I to help a lot going forward knowing exactly when things will be happening and being on the same page.
Back to School Survival Guide Tip #2 – SET A ROUTINE
Now that schedules and calendars have begun to be filled in, I can begin to organize a routine that works for us all. What days will I plan on exercising? What days look best to plan a date night? Having at least a mental idea of when these things might happen allows me to hold myself accountable on the days I should be doing them. Setting a strict night time routine can sometimes be hard with my kids being so strong willed but when we stay consistent with our sleep expectations we see huge improvements in their school work and all around happiness. Setting out outfits the night before helps us all SO MUCH! Its an oldie but a goodie for very strong reasons. Saves us all so much time and sometimes picky dilemmas! Haha! A morning routine is key too. I try to get up before the kids so I can have a cup of coffee (my personal favorite) and answer a few emails. This makes me feel like Ive got a head start while doing the drop off routine. I don’t always have time for breakfast (I know its so awful) , but I try to always take probiotics as part of my personal morning routine. When the kids wake, two eat while one showers, and then a switch happens. I also find that my kids excel with a healthy amount of structure, so setting a routine they can consistently ease through helps them stay happy and focus before leaving the house for a day of learning and fun. I also found this list from Fresh Mommy to be huge help in knowing what essential oils to use when during the back to school chaos. This detailed list walks you through the best oils to get the kids out of bed, which to use as homework helpers, and even some that keep the lice away!
Back to School Survival Guide Tip #3 – ALLERGIES
Allergies are really important and sometimes dangerous aspects for our children and their classmates. Making a note of the classroom allergies is key when planning ahead for packed lunches, special events, and birthdays. Knowing that you’re doing your part and hopefully the other parents are too to keep everyone safe is peace of mind. I usually note the allergies on a post it and stick it on the side of the fridge or somewhere convenient that I can easily refer to when prepping food. I tend to end up memorizing it and no longer needing the visual but its a place to start.
Back to School Survival Guide Tip #4 -DEVELOP LUNCH BOX/EASY DINNER IDEAS
I love researching new recipes that will excite my kids. Though my kids aren’t really picky eaters they can sometime’s get a bit bored. I love finding meal ideas ahead of time to try out before the school year so I can already know what they loved or maybe not so much. I do my best to give them balanced meals while also having fun with flavors and cuisines. Ryder’s favorite cuisine is Indian! With both Jason and I working so much sometimes their lunch boxes are more creative than our dinners and sometimes vice versa but I love showing my kids how exciting food and cooking can be. There are so many great sources online for easy lunch box ideas and easy dinners. Sometimes meal planning also involves pre-freezing some more complicated recipes that we can easily have at a later date. This makes me feel a little less guilty when Jason and I have been really busy with work and we’ve lost track of prioritizing delicious healthy meals.
Though we may have a hard time letting go of our summer fun, we deep down love getting back to our structured routines. Going back to school can be an incredibly exciting time with lots of new energy. I look forward to discovering this next scholastic year through the eyes of my kids and cant wait to watch them continue to grow into the little humans that they are.
Last final back to school survival tip, don’t forget that first day of school pic!
Happy 2019-2020 school year to all our brilliant students!