August is typically a back-to-school month for those who are involved in schooling. It’s hard to believe that time has come again, but before you know it school will be in session! For me (Katie) and my kids, that means homeschooling. For most families that means preparing to attend public or private schools, ranging from preschool age to college.
No matter what kind of schooling is a part of your life, this is a great time of year to prepare your family for the busy months ahead. Here are some ideas from me and a few of our Daily Digi team members to help you get ready for the upcoming school year.
I always shop the school supply loss leaders (you know, the notebooks for 10 cents, the penny items, etc.) and keep a tote in my basement full of school supplies. When we get our school supply lists, we shop from the tote first before hitting the stores. It’s also where we go when they run out or lose something halfway through the year.
I have a lunchbox station in my kitchen. It’s an itso shelving unit from Target with three pull out drawers where I keep chips, juice pouches, granola bars, fruit snacks, ziplock baggies, etc. The lunch boxes are kept on the top, and each morning the kids can easily pack their lunches themselves. And because this is the designated lunch station…everyone knows to not snack from it, so we don’t suddenly run out of something!
I know it sounds a little odd, but I really try to get a batch of freezer meals done during the first week or two of school. Once lessons and activities start up for the kids, making a good dinner is quickly forgotten. If I have those freezer meals done to get me through October and even the first part of November, my life is much, much easier in the evenings!
When I homeschooled, this wasn’t as big of an issue. Afternoons and evenings were much less hurried when my kids were homeschooled because we were often able to do lessons in the afternoon, before regular school was out, just as part of their school day. There was less that needed to packed between the hours of 3-8 each day….I miss that!
Although I do homeschool my children, we follow an online charter school program through K12.com that is actually quite rigorous. I love that the lessons are planned for us, but we also don’t have as much flexibility as some homeschoolers. We do finish up earlier in the day than traditional schools (most of the time), but then I have to get my work done for The Daily Digi and work on my own blog & scrapbooking projects. My days feel very full when school is in session! For me, it is very important to start the school year with my life and home in a good organizational state. Here are some things I do to get ready – these tips will work for homeschoolers and traditional schoolers alike!
- Stock the pantry and storage room so I don’t have to make so many trips to the store.
- Go back to school shopping for clothes and supplies. Even though we don’t have to follow the traditional schedule for this, it is more fun for my kids (and me!) to start the school year off with a few new things, and there are great sales!
- Clean and refresh our study space. I clear off the bulletin boards and change things around a bit to give us a back-to-school feeling and a fresh start.
- Give the house a good deep cleaning. I feel much better about diving into our packed schedule if the house is in order. I know it won’t stay that way, but it’s a good feeling.
- Establish a daily schedule before the first day of school. I did this when my kids were attending public and private schools also. If they have gotten used to sleeping in, try adjusting wake up times gradually over the few weeks leading up to school so they aren’t so tired the first week of school. The same goes for bedtimes.
- If you are a homeschooler (or if you work at home) you might be tempted to stay in your pjs or get a late start in the mornings. While it is nice to have the flexibility to do this, you will find that you and your kids are much more productive (and happy) if you get up and get ready for the day like you would if you were leaving the house. I’m a firm believer in this one!
Feel free to share your best back to school tips in the comments. We have so many amazing readers who teach us great things, it’s fun to hear what works for you!