Back to School Prep

 Hey loves. Back to School is quickly approaching. Who is ready for it? I know some kids are already back, some are starting this week, we start in 15 days, some are after labor day and everywhere in between. I have a mix of emotions: sad they won't be home with me all day, excited for them to learn and grow and see friends, nervous how everyone will adjust to new school and schedules, happy to start a new routine, etc. My kids feel the same. They have a big adjustment to make to waking up earlier and bed times. 

Even though we are over here savoring and counting down the last two weeks we are also prepping to have a less stressful, successful school year.


Dreaded School Supplies

I don't know a mom that says "OMG I love school supply shopping". The lists anymore are long and so specific. Such as 8 jumbo glue sticks, and 1 blue folder with pocket no prongs, and 1 red folder with pockets and 3 prongs. Sometimes it is best to first take a deep breath and tackle this little by little.

  • Once you get your supplies list see what supplies you already have (I save supplies at the end of the year that are still good, and most years but extra to start with incase you run out) 
  • Reuse backpacks and lunch boxes, no one says you have to have a new one each year. Last year we bought quality lunch boxes, and Ella a quality backpack. Austin we bought a cheap character backpack and it didn't last the whole year. 
  • Take one child at a time if possible. Makes for great one on one time also.
  • Remember to grab a few things for home that you may need like extra pencils, colored pencils, crayons, etc.
If the kids clothes fit, aren't ripped or stained, they don't NEED new clothes. Sure you can buy them a few new essentials but they don't need a new wardrobe. This year Ella wanted to go to Volunteers of America and see if they had any dresses. She is currently very aware of how much everything costs and doesn't want to spend a lot of money. There is also nothing wrong with gently used and her to her. We hit the jackpot and got 7 dresses for $21, one dress still had a tag on from Nordstrom and would have been originally over $50. 

I have a love hate relationship with labeling school supplies. The first year we were told to write Aubriella's name on everything, meaning every pencil, crayon, marker, etc. It got old quick. Then to find out extra's went in a community bucket. Now we just label the essentials. I will use a marker on crayon boxes and smaller items. Folders, supply boxes, etc I use my cricut and personalize it with something cute for each kid. Don't forget to label kids water bottles, book bags, and coats.

Schedule them early. Haircuts always seem to be something the sneaks up on you at the last minute. I did all the kids (and Brian's and my parents) over the weekend so they are done and out to the way. Before picture day (whenever that is) Ella will just need a bang trim and Austin a line up around the edges. 

Command Center

Have a designated area where all the papers go, a calendar for everything. Our command station had a dry erase board calendar for the month, weekly dinner menu, and a charging station. We write everything on the calendar each month for the kids from sports to school events. Everything is also added to our digital calendar and my personal calendar too.

In the drawer is pencils, pens, sharpies, dry erase markers, and tape. The cupboard has each of my kids a folder for important papers I need to keep, and we save food coupons, restaurant menus, and weekly grocery ads. There are also two supply bags, one for Ella and Austin that has essentials they may need for doing school work at home. There are extra everything in the office too. I DO NOT keep scissors down low with a 3 year old running around my house. 

Mud Room
We have a gorgeous new mud room that is where we store the kids bookbags, coats, and shoes. Even if you don't have a mud room just having a designated area where you put everything, we use to leave them by the front door or in the dinging room. The baskets on top hold extra socks so they don't have to run upstairs to grab a pair when they are already running late, and hats and gloves for winter.

Meal Plan
I always meal plan our dinners. Easier meals on nights we have something going on, crockpot meals are my go to. 

Lunch Ideas
Decide if your kids are going to pack or have the option to buy. How often can they buy? What do they want in their packed lunch? Are they able to open everything in the lunch themselves?

My kids love lunchables especially the pizza ones. But they can't open them themselves. From needing the sauce ripped open to making a huge mess with the cheese and even laying the pizza straight on the table. Its a fun lunch but not practical. Yogurt tubes, applause containers, oranges in juice, juice pouches, and bags of chips, are other items that kids struggle with. 

Start Routine Week Before
Waking the kids up early, making sure they eat breakfast, limiting snacking all day, 

Are your kids ready for back to school? When do they start?

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