If I say the word “school” around my house right now, my kids tell me to stop swearing. Apparently, it’s a bad word to use during their summer break! Regardless of their refusal to speak the word aloud, it’s still a subject (pun intended) that’s on my mind and as a somewhat responsible mom, it’s my duty to be prepared for their return to their place of education. Heh heh. So, what are the best ways to be organized for a new school year? Here are my tried-and-true back to school basics for moms.
Choose quality gear.
There’s a plethora of amazing lunch bags, backpacks and food containers available on the market today – I know because I just purchased two new and super cool lunch bags for my kids. Look for machine washable bags to save you money in the long run and containers that are dishwasher safe and stackable in order to retain your sanity.
Make care packages.
(Your kids can help you with this.) Stuff a pouch with a few essentials for each child to pop into their backpack. Your kindergartener may want to add a good luck charm, a photo of Mom and Dad and a pack of tissues, while your teen may need a small hairbrush, lip balm and extra hair ties.
Plan your days.
Use whatever organization tools work for each family member. Place a family organizer with large squares for stickers and notes in a central area and give your teens a student organizer made specifically for their growing needs.
Back to school can be hectic if you are not organized, but a few minutes of planning can make the transition smooth and easy. Use handy checklists to take care of to-dos ahead of time and then sit down with your kids to discuss and plan their school days routine so that you can start the year off on the right foot.
Master snacks and lunchtime.
Healthy snacks and meals are essential for busy and growing kids. Save time, add variety and provide lunches your kids will eat by having them help you to pack wholesome school lunches. Use a school lunch planner and stock up on nutritious snacks for afterschool to make feeding bottomless kids a breeze.
Communicate with your family.
Create a family command station, a small, central area dedicated to keeping the lines of communication open. This spot should feature the family calendar along with a bulletin board nearby for permission slips, lunch money and more.
Create a flow chart or checklist for school mornings.
Enlist the help of your children in creating it to ensure their buy-in. Add one or two fun items to their regular routine to take the mundaneness out of it; Get dressed. Hug Dad. Have breakfast. Pet the cat. Brush teeth. Get backpack ready.
Now that you’ve got the basics covered you can focus on enjoying the rest of your summer!
By Kristen Wint