Back to School Prep: What To Do Now So You’re Ready

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What should I do two weeks before school is back in session? How can I help my child prepare for back to school? Keep reading to learn some tips and tricks to help with back to school prep for parents – and make starting the new school year a breeze!

You’ve heard the saying – all good things must come to an end. 

You’ve had a few long months of sleeping in, summer camp, movie nights and barbeques,. Now you’ve got to get yourself – and your kids – ready to go back to school.

While some kids look forward to the start of the new school year, others dread it. And however your little one might feel about it, one thing’s for sure. Getting off of your summer schedule for the new school year is easier said than done.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to prepare in advance. Do these before your kids head back to the classroom. Start winding down summer and building good habits and structures for the year ahead with these tips!

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Rise And Shine: Get Used To Those New Wake-Up Times

For many kids, summer vacation is a time to sleep in. They get used to enjoying some extra shut-eye each night. Plus, their bodies adjust to waking up a little bit later. 

But for most kids, the days of sleeping in are at an end when school starts again. Some school districts have embraced a later start to the day. But many still require kids to arrive shortly after the sun is up, fully awake and ready to learn.

Making an abrupt shift from summer sleeping schedules to waking up early for school can be rough. It can lead to tantrums, meltdowns, and utter exhaustion – for everyone, including Mom and Dad. Ease back into the schedule for the school year. This will make the transition as smooth as possible.

If bedtimes were pushed back during the summer, consider shifting those a little bit earlier when you’re a couple of weeks out from the start of school. Set clear expectations with your kids and establish a bedtime routine that will help them transition to sleep.

And in the morning, hold everyone accountable for waking up on time. It might be tempting to sleep in those last few days before school starts, but your whole family will benefit from starting to adjust to those early wake-up times before Day 1.

Back To School Prep: How To Make New Routines That Work

Adjusting your alarm clock is just part of the change you’ll need to make for the start of the school year.

Your whole family will need to adjust to a whole new routine. This is especially true when kids are making big transitions – from elementary to middle school, for example, or incorporating new extracurricular activities into their schedule.

Between drop-offs, pick-ups, practices, and homework, you’ll likely find you have far less flexibility in your schedule than you enjoyed during the summer. A solid routine can help you ensure you – and your little one – get everything done with minimal stress. 

Use A Binder

Leverage a tool like my Take Action Printables Binder for Organizing Your Home and Life – or simply get a pen and paper, or a whiteboard. 

Do A Brain Dump

Then, do a brain dump. Write down everything that needs to happen on any given day. If those things are time-sensitive, make a note of when they need to happen.

Child sleeping beside an alarm clock with text overlay

Organize those must-do items chronologically – and then logically figure out how you’ll make them work. Does it take 15 minutes to drive your kids to school each day? Incorporate that into your routine. 30 minutes on average to prep dinner? Make sure that’s written down and accounted for. By creating a schedule that you can stick to, you’ll ensure you can get everything done – and keep your whole family on the same page. 

Now, you won’t really be able to fully embrace the new routine until the school year starts. There’s no need to rehearse the commute to the classroom if your kids are enjoying the last few weeks of summer at home. But there are a few easy ways you can ease into your routine, like:

  • Make sure your kids are waking up at the same time each morning.
  • Cook and serve dinner at the same time you’ll have it ready during the school year.
  • Instead of dedicating 30 minutes to homework, encourage your kids to spend those 30 minutes reading a book or brushing up on stuff they learned the year before. 
Hands packing a backpack with text overlay

Bringing Order To Chaos: How to Organize School Supplies

One of the biggest items on your to-do list before the start of school? 

Buying everything on your kid’s school supply list.

Teachers typically release a list of must-have supplies a few weeks before the start of school – and they’re specific. You can’t just get any pack of folders – you need one red one, one blue one, and two green ones. Same goes with pencils, crayons, paper, composition books, and everything else. 

And you won’t just want to buy supplies to send with them to school. You’ll also likely want to stock up at home so you’ve got plenty of extras for homework or special projects – or when they’ve lost their red folder and you need to replace it ASAP.

Here are a few different ways you can organize school supplies for the year ahead:

  • Set up a dedicated workstation for projects. Ideally, you can set up a small desk in their bedroom or in a common area of the house. Tuck those extra supplies into the drawers for easy access.
  • Use a shelf of a closet or cabinet. If you want to keep school supplies out of sight, hiding them in a closet or cabinet can be a great way to do it. A few small shelf organizers or baskets and bins can help you keep similar items together.
  • Get a rolling cart to organize school supplies. This is a great solution for small spaces or situations where your child needs to do homework in different locations. You can bring the cart wherever you need it – and easily put it away when you’re finished. 

Preparing the Pantry: Getting Ready For Back To School Lunches

Another big aspect of preparing for the school year involves making a plan for those back-to-school breakfasts and lunches.

Make Lunches Easy To Eat

In many situations, breakfast needs to be quick and easy – and sometimes, something you can easily eat on the go. And instead of taking the time to make a homemade lunch each day, you’ll need to pack a lunch box that they can eat during their designated mealtime.

Pack Smarter

As you figure out what you’ll use to fill those lunch boxes, it’s important to think about the logistics. Will your kid have access to a fridge? A microwave? If not, what time will they have lunch? Will a thermos keep things hot enough, or an ice pack keep things appropriately cool? 

Person holding a packed lunch container with a sandwich, rice cakes, and salad with text overlay

Tips

A few tips to help you prepare your pantry and fridge for back to school lunches include:

  • Go into each week with a plan. It’s a good idea to quickly evaluate your pantry each weekend and plan a trip to the grocery store if you need to stock up on anything. The last thing you want to do is find yourself in a position where you need to pack a lunch – and don’t have the right stuff to do it.
  • Meal prep whenever possible! Don’t have enough time to make a sandwich from scratch every morning? Make a few on Sunday night to get you through the first few days of the week, or cook something in bulk that can be easily portioned out. 
  • Stock up on easy grab-and-go snacks. Yogurts, cheese sticks, fruits, and crackers are a few to get you started. When you don’t have a ton of time to prep a meal in the morning, having options that you can quickly throw together will be a lifesaver
  • Ensure you have enough storage solutions. Do you prefer individually packaged items, or do you like to buy stuff in bulk or prepare meals from scratch to send with your kid? Bento boxes, small tupperwares, and zippered plastic bags can help you keep things organized and avoid messes.
  • Use your calendar. Either get a yearly planner or print an undated planner. Either way, track due dates so they don’t surprise you.
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More Back To School Organization tips

If you enjoyed learning about how to get organized for back to school season, then here are some more tips that you’ll enjoy next:

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