Yesterday was the first day of the 2019 – 2020 school year. The kids happily started 2nd Grade and 10th Grade. While the calendar said it was the first day of school, it didn’t feel like. I felt like summer owed me two to three more weeks of fun. We are a uniform county so there aren’t a lot of back to school thrills in our home.
Five Back To School Tips
Our school schedule and routine is very systematic. We are a busy family and it only works because I keep us organized. There are a variety of ways to help the kids help themselves which in turn makes life easier for everyone. These back to school tips are a life saver.
Calendar Management: Everything goes into my Google Calendar. Each member of my household has their own color code. At the top of the school year, I put in all of the pertinent events like early dismissal, Parent + Teacher Conference, days out of school, Back to School Nights, special events, etc. That allows for day to day planning and any travel we want to do. Both of the kids do sports during the school year so those practices and game days go on the calendar too. This is the most essential of the back to school tips.
Back to School Prep: We check our at home school supply stash and then buy whatever is still needed. We purge raggedy uniforms and or uniforms that no longer fit, and buy new ones. We do the same thing with their sneakers. The day before the first day of school I label all of LittleCuteLips supplies. The ManChild is older so I don’t label his stuff, but I tell him to do so in Sharpie. The stickers are cute, but they can be removed.
Weekly Routine: The ManChild does his own laundry, but laundry is done every weekend. By Sunday night all uniforms are ironed up for the week. We don’t have time for last-minute ironing in the morning. I do LittleCuteLips hair weekly or bi-weekly on Sunday. That is a time consuming 4-hour process to get her hair done and braided up for the week. I do NOT do hair during the week, she sleeps in a scarf to keep it fresh.
Nightly Routine: They put away lunch boxes (they both pack lunch) from the day prior and pack their book bags for the next school day. That also includes sports bags for practice and or game day. If the school were to do something like school gym hire, taking into account the physical fitness of the children, then the kids would have happily packed their gym clothes too. I don’t think the kids wouldn’t like some gym training! They shower at night before getting into bed for maximum freshness. My little girl especially enjoys it very much. She even has certain ideas about replacing our shower door with a purple shower curtain! I guess shower curtains are one of the best alternatives to glass shower doors. Anyway, after the shower, I lay out LittleCuteLips uniform and she decides if she wants to wear a skirt/short/pant based on the water. When I say lay out clothes I’m talking down to the socks and undershirt. Shoes are in the mudroom so they put them on before walking out of the door.
Morning Routine: This year is the first year that they wake up at different times, so its even easier because they don’t have to share a bathroom. They wake up wash their face and brush their teeth prior to getting dressed. They get dressed and the teen returns to the bathroom to brush his hair.
Then they head downstairs to get breakfast and pack their lunch. LittleCuteLips is 7 but she makes her own lunch, I have a basic formula for them to go by [1 sandwich + 2 drinks (one is for snack) + 1 chip + one fruit or veggie + fruit snacks]. If she wants lunch in her thermos than I warm it up for her.
After that, they do their final book bag packing and put on their shoes. If time permits they can watch TV until it is time to go.
Bonus Tips: Here are a few extras that I also do
For my bus rider, I make sure he has a small umbrella that stays in his backpack.
Both of my kids wear RoadIds to school, they also wear them when we go out in big crowds/travel, etc. Babe and I also have Road Ids.
Ours looks like the one above with the following info:
FIRST NAME + LAST NAME /YEAR OF BIRTH
CITY + STATE
MOM: (000) 000-0000
DAD: (000) 000-0000
The teen has a cell phone, we make sure it is charged up in the morning and he takes a charged-up portable charger with him. Sometimes he needs to contact us during the day but certainly after practice or to notify us of schedule changes. We can also track his phone to make sure he made the bus and then to school safely if needed.