Welcome to the third busiest time of the year. There is Christmas. There is May-cember. Then there is back to school. Where it still feels like summer, but your school system says it is time to get back to the greater institution of learning. Alarms are set, snack reserves are re-filled, and the battle is fierce amidst school supply aisles of every major retailer. Back to school can be a stressful experience, but here are real parents tried and true hacks for surviving the BTS chaos.
Create a homework station
Keep pencils, papers, and anything else kids might need for their homework in one spot. Pick an area that is quiet and away from distractions so kids are able to focus and concentrate on getting homework knocked out of the way.
Plan outfits for the week
If you have kids that are opinionated about what they want to wear to school, planning the week’s outfits in advance will save you time and probably a few frustrated tears. Simplifying school clothes in one area of their closet or drawers helps kids have choices and feel in control of their style.
Prep lunch items in advance
Packing lunches is one of those things we dread almost daily. Prepping lunch items in advance by buying individually packaged items or just splitting fruit and snacks into smaller portions in ready to grab containers will make it a breeze.
Sort/sign papers right away
With back to school there is always a mountain of forms, permission slips, and other papers being sent home. We recommend sorting and signing those as soon as you receive them. We know it is tempting to add them to the pile to deal with later, but you will likely forget or misplace one. Taking care of it right away will help you stay organized and on top of it all!
Create a car snack station
Back to school also means back to sports and other after school activities. Chances are you will be running all over town dropping kids at practices and activities so that means a lot of time in the car. There have been a number of times we are out and about only to have one of our kiddos complaining of being famished. Set up a car snack station with easy to grab snacks to keep them fueled during their practices. Granola bars, crackers, trail mix and dried fruits are easy to keep in your car!
A few of our fellow bloggers shared some of their back to school tips with us.
Brittany from The Ashemores Blog says: Give yourself some grace mama. Some days are going to be so very hard. One day your Kindergartener might wake up and not want to wear any of the shoes in her closet. Or one day every sock might have too many bumps in it. Have back up clothing laid out and give them choices. Show yourself grace and always give grace.
Aileen from Aileen Cooks says: Plan to double or triple your family’s favorite recipes and throw them in the freezer. We do it with dinners and breakfasts and it is a lifesaver!
Angela from Mid Modern Mama says: Use a paper planner! Brain research shows that writing tasks and events down on paper improves your memory and long-term learning. Get yourself a paper planner and make planning a practice. You and your family will benefit! If you have middle or high school-aged kids, make planning a family practice. Help them learn to use a planner, too. Planning as a family can make a busy family’s life so much easier.
And to all the mamas, if all else fails…WINE!!!