Back to School

It’s that time again when we all have to dive into a back-to-school routine.  All those amazing lazy days of summer have hopefully made some lasting memories and the excitement of a new school year is here.  If your house is like mine, morning are not where we shine.  No matter what time we’re awake we’re always rushing out the door.

I’ve taken to the school of thought that we pack bags as soon as we come back. i.e. swim bags get emptied and re-filled with dry towel, and dry bathing suit so they are ready for the next week.  I am also one who tries to have it all prepped and ready the night before.  We practiced last year, using what in our house is called the “tomorrow hook”.  Just one of those fancy command hooks square on the back of the door.  It is loaded nightly with what you’re going to wear the next day as well as your bag(s) are on the knob ready for school and activities.

Above the command hook is a second smaller hook that hangs the packing sheet.  This pictorial weekly calendar outlines extra activities and what needs to be packed for them. 

Learning new things before the big first day is so important. Little hands need lots of practice doing what we think of as the easiest tasks.  My kindergartener has spent the summer opening lunch items at the beach and making sure that water bottles and juice boxes won’t slow her down, at what is a very short lunch time.  Last thing you want is your little learner to spend half of their 22min lunch trying to ask a teacher for help.

The other thing that came as a reminder from my cousin, Laurie H.,  the mom of an older student is carpool protocol. “A plea from a carpool parent to anyone with a child starting kindergarten. I truly offer this as a tip from someone who has been there and did not know I needed to work with my child on this prior to kindergarten.  Please spend a few minutes this summer working with your child so they know how to do up their seatbelt during carpool.  Some kids have never had to do this and the pressure of a lingering carpool line will make mom and child crazy (not to mention everyone waiting behind you). We want everyone to be safe…while keeping things moving along!  If you need to park your car in the carpool line, get out to escort your child to their seat, buckle him or her in, and then walk back around to your side of the car to leave…you might want to consider just parking and work your way up to carpool!”

As you go thru the supply list it isn’t a bad idea to make a parent one.  Mine each year includes ordering long lasting labels from companies like Mabel’s Labels or Name Bubbles.  I also run a sheet of return address labels in my computer with just my kid’s name.  I use these for disposal items such as juice boxes and sunscreen.  Items that I don’t want to have used the more expensive labels on because they will be tossed.Our school is also peanut free so we have to include a note that says what alternative we are using in the sandwich.  I printed these out ahead of time as not to have to hand write this each morning.

In addition to name labels I pre print a handful of blank notes to teachers, school office and money envelopes.  In the hopes of keeping myself organized and on time these are ready to grab and go.  Hello Cuteness (formerly AnythingButPerfect) totally helps me out with these adorable free downloads.  

Screen shot 2015-08-22 at 12.32.10 PM Screen shot 2015-08-22 at 12.32.23 PM

My husband is the breakfast man. He loves to eat and cook breakfast foods. His cheese eggs are by far better than mine.  There are days when he’s not available to cook and we are not on our best time table.  I always make sure there are breakfast foods and fruit that can go with us in the car or to the bus stop.

I hope these will help you and your family jump start into another great school year.  Please share any other helpful hints for those of us that struggle in the AM.

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