I love back to school time.

bts

This may seem a little off – I mean, I’m a teacher and I get all summer off. So, why would I love back to school time? Besides the obvious part – getting the kids back to the routines and friends and yes, let’s face it, AWAY, I love the newness of it all.

Each school year is a new beginning. A new way to feel the stress of being a mom. :)

Here’s a few things to start thinking about now to make the school year go more smoothly for you AND the kids.

1. Fill up your calendar.

Whether you use an online calendar like Google Cal (my personal fave) or are still paper and pen based, take some time to write in everything that you know ahead of time. Put in all the school holidays (and if you’re using an online cal, put these in a different color so that they stand out more) and sports practices that you know of. This will help when you need to make end of the summer orthodontist or doctor’s appointments.

2. Take stock.

socks-chartWhat do the kids need? Do they still fit in their jeans? Are they missing only one tennis shoe? (and in my house right now the answer is yes) Take a look and decide who needs what a make a list. If you are digital, use a note taking app like Springpad or Evernote so you can have the list with you where ever you go. Make sure to check the following:

  • shoes
  • clothes – double check socks and underwear. I’m not sure where they go during the summer, but they seem to disappear a lot.
  • backpacks
  • lunch bags
  • winter coats – I know it’s early, but do you really want an early storm to remind you that you have three kids and four gloves, none of which match?

3. Make your appointments

Do the kids need sports physicals or even shots? Do it ASAP. Don’t be the parent who is scrambling for an appointment the last three days of vacay. Trust me, you won’t be the only one.

4. Start thinking about schedules and automation.

I am a meal planning freak. Seriously, it is BY FAR the one thing that allows my household to keep running. When you have two ADHD kids struggling through homework time, plus you have sports practices and gym time to fit in (much less adult time and sleep), you have to plan ahead.

FOOD – I know this qualifies me as a major dork, but I just put my entire dinner list into a spreadsheet and broke it down by cooking method, meat used and prep time. I have a category that says whether it is fast and/or easy, but what it really means is “Am I capable of cooking it?” I’ll be sharing this on next week’s Menu Plan Monday. My point is this – I now have a list of almost 60 meals that I can pull my meal plans from.

To make it even easier, I have specific nights for specific things. Huh? Mon and Wed are swim practice nights, so I know that I need to have crock pot meals for those two nights. Friday is the kid’s pizza night, so they get that after swim. Saturdays are usually days where my husband makes something really yummy, so that only leaves a few days to really worry about.

Seriously makes my life easier.

HOMEWORK – Think about where the kids will do their homework and look at the materials you will need to restock the homework station. More on that next week!

MORNING ROUTINES – Take a little time to determine who does what. As your kids get older, you’ll need to reevaluate the time needed for them to get ready. Again, check back next week – the article will be linked here too!

5. Childcare

childcareIf you have been using the same childcare throughout the summer, schedule a time to sit down with that person or with the center to go over any changes for the upcoming school year.

If you child will be going to before/after school care, make sure you know their hours of operation and any other pertinent info. For me, my daughter will be attending care at her school. It costs more, but I won’t have to worry now if I get stuck in traffic or have an after school meeting. This is great, except I have NO idea how the payment works for this place. It’s on my list of things to figure out over the next two weeks.

 

There you have it. Start now and reduce your stress later. And I know it’s an oldie, but I had to leave you with a little something:

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