Are you ready for back to school? With our large family, I’ve learned that we can’t go into the new school year without a plan. So, I’ve come up with these 5 sensational strategies on how to get ready for school that will make the process easy for you and your family.
We’ve had our share of regular school mornings, a couple of years of homeschooling under our belts, and pretty much make our school choices based on the best fit for our family each year and season of our lives. This year, with twins on the way and due just after the start of the school year, we decided to enroll our kids in a school that’s close to home. I like that they’ll all be in the same school, and they’re excited to attend a new school together as well!
With that said, summer is nearing an end (HOW ALREADY?!!) and it’s time to get prepared and set the stage for backing that back to school time easier.
I was recently on Daytime TV and had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Jennifer Arnold while there, co-star of TLC’s The Little Couple and Neonatologist at John’s Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. It was great chatting (she’s the sweetest!!), and of course, talked all things back to school as well.
5 Sensational Strategies to Make Getting Ready for School Easy
Getting Ready for School Shopping
Shop smart! It sounds simple while getting ready for school, but the overwhelming demands for supplying a larger family can become overwhelming. Create your lists ahead of time, look for savings, and remember to bring the lists with you to mark them off as you go.
It doesn’t hurt to google what kind of savings your city or state offers as well… for example, here in Florida, we have a whole tax-free shopping weekend which makes for the perfect time to plan all of our back to school shopping.
We like using the app through BJs, and take advantage of their Back-to-School areas for stocking up on all of our kids’ school supply lists. I can find back-to-school fashion, lunch supplies, school supplies, snacks and everything we need to restock our homework cart—all during our one-stop shopping at BJ’s.
Convenience is key, as we get ready to welcome the twins in a couple of months. I don’t have the energy to run all around town. And the savings on items like glue sticks are more than half-off what other wholesale stores are offering. We also stocked up on apparel items, like the boys’ polo shirts to rotate through for the year at their new school, and ALL the kids picked out new lunch boxes to go with their backpacks too!
I like browsing the produce and food aisles too, like BJs own Wellsley Farms products, to find deals on food as well to fill those lunch boxes!
Related: See our lunch box tips, hacks and printables here!
And, if you shop at BJ’s like us, with the BJ’s app, back to school shopping can be even easier and more affordable by using all the convenience features – BOPIC (Buy Online Pick-up in Club), same-day delivery, using the mobile app to find extra coupons and add coupons to your card!
Back to School Bedtime
The National Sleep Foundation says that poor sleep in school-aged children can lead to mood swings, behavioral problems like ADHD and cognitive problems that may impact their ability to learn in school. Establishing a healthy sleep routine is a must for getting ready for school. Your school-aged child, six to thirteen years old, needs 9-11 hours of sleep each night.
We have been more lenient with bedtimes during the summer break. To make the transition back to school appropriate bedtimes we start days ahead. I recommend moving bedtime/wake time up by 15 minutes early every 2-3 nights until you reach the desired school schedule.
This makes getting ready for school easier on your child and prevents possible jetlag symptoms on the first day of school. We also have specific bedtime routines we follow which help our children fall asleep more easily.
Making Mornings Easy Breezy
The adage is practice makes perfect, and this goes for any time-sensitive activity. Start a morning routine the week before school that mimics what a school morning routine looks like.
Try making a morning chart, use pictures versus words, to help children go through the steps you need them to do to get ready. It’s important that you keep your cool, so your children don’t dig in their heels. Stay positive and hand out lots of praise as they complete these steps.
Another helpful tip is to do as much getting ready for school as you can the night before. Help your child check her backpack, lay out her clothes, and make her lunch. Also, planning ahead for breakfast can take the guesswork out of morning meals, so you can enjoy an extra cup of coffee while your children eat a well-balanced meal.
Download our busy family’s morning secret sauce – “Let’s Start Fresh” meal planning download!
School Lunch How To’s
Speaking of lunches, it’s a great idea to practice making school lunches with your kids. Create healthy options for them to choose from that you’d be happy with no matter which they choose. This way they can assist with getting ready for school, but more importantly, allowing your child to make her own choices builds confidence and enthusiasm to eat healthy foods.
Keep the choices simple. I would recommend no more than three options such as a choice between spinach tortillas, whole grain bread, or wheat crackers for their bread. Or you could offer the choice between carrots, cucumbers, or sliced green peppers for a vegetable. BJ’s offers a large assortment of fresh food and their exclusive Wellsley Farms brand has so many healthy options for kids to choose from, and items we ALL love to eat up!
You can change these options after your next trip to BJ’s to create variety throughout the year. And for added fun try creating bento-style meals with silicone baking cups and decorative food picks. It’s so easy!
Get the Kids to Take Charge of Home Organization
92% of parents describe their child as messy. It’s up to us to teach our children good organizational skills. If we can establish it as a habit while they are young we will help them become more productive adults.
Create a “drop zone” or give a place for all their school items to go when your children return home from school. If every item has a designated home it is easier to establish the expectation that school bags shouldn’t be in the middle of the walkway.
Mom always said there should be a place for everything and everything should be in its place. Use hooks, a coatrack, or large baskets to create your “drop zone” in the most convenient place for your family.
We plan to have one for the boys in their room and one for the girls in their room, as well as a designated place in our pantry for lunch-box supplies.
Getting Ready for School Made Easy
These 5 strategies are what we do while getting ready for school. I hope they help you and your family. Do you do any of these strategies to get your littles organized for back-to-school?
Please tell me your favorite back-to-school tip in the comments.