It will not be long before the school bell rings on the first day school. Are you ready? There are supplies, uniforms/clothes to buy, schedules to adjust, and that is just the beginning. It seems like we just started summer. This transition is not only difficult for the kids, but also for the adults. By organizing, the transition will be easier.
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Clothes for School
Before you run out and buy school clothes, try on the clothes from last year. If they don’t fit, consider donating them. This will free up space for the new clothes. Once you know what still fits or doesn’t, the shopping list can be prepared. There is a delicate balance between how many sets of clothes are needed and how many times you may need to wash them during the week. By having more sets, it will free up some of your time during the week, but the tradeoff is that it will cost more.
Get the supply list so that they can be purchased. This is the time of year to stock up on notebooks, binders, pencils, and various other things as there are great back to school sales. Check to see if the book sack is still in good shape from last year or if that needs to be added to the shopping list too. Some book sack companies like Jan Sport have a lifetime guarantee. I have actually returned two that were ripped and we received two new ones back.
Louisiana has a Tax Free Weekend (check paper for dates). This applies only to the state sales tax and not the local sales tax. There are certain criteria and restrictions, so be sure to read more about it. I’m not familiar with other states, but they may offer something similar, so check into it.
If the kids will be going to after school care, double-check to be sure everything is arranged.
If last year was not as smooth and organized as you would have wished, now is the best time to make those adjustments.
Central Location for School Things
Make a family command center to put book sacks, purses, papers, calendars, etc. all in one place to be able to find them instead of searching the house for them at the last-minute. It can be as simple as a stool or table or more elaborate. There are many ways to set this up including using a bench, baskets, crates, or hooks.
Put all of the after school activities on the calendar to keep organized.
Have a system where papers are reviewed, signed, and put back in the book sack the night before. If this is not done until the morning, it may be too rushed and something may be missed.
Slowly get the kids back in a routine of when they need to go to sleep and wake up before the first day.
Pick out clothes the night before.
Is there an after school activity that additional things need to be packed and brought to school? If so, put these with the book sack or at least a note to remind everyone. These can be dance or sports items as well as many other things. Evaluate if snacks need to be brought and plan accordingly too.
Breakfast, Lunch, and Snacks
If you have to pack lunches every day, decide what you need and add them to the grocery list. Buying in bulk is usually cheaper, but not always, so check the prices. If buying in bulk, allow time to divide the snacks, and other items, into individual servings. This can be done ahead of time to save time in the morning.
If you buy lunch, put the lunch money with the book sack.
Plan what will work with your schedule for breakfasts and buy accordingly.
The Rules at Home
Discuss what the homework rules are so that the kids know the expectation. Can they eat a snack and watch TV before doing homework or do they have to finish their homework before they can watch TV or play electronic games?
The first week or so of school, many papers are sent home, asking you to fill out forms, pay fees, and explaining various things at school. Be on the lookout for these.
Continue or start a tradition for the first day of school. We always took pictures of the kids on the first and last day of school. Other traditions include having them sign their name, say what they want to be when they grow up, etc. Even if you have a tradition, you may want to add-on additional one.
While the school years are very busy and difficult at times to juggle the homework and after school activities, take time to get organized to enjoy these years as much as possible. Before long, the kids will be grown and you may wonder where time went. If you have something that works great for you, please share below.