Even though the month of August is ahead of us, there is something about the 31st of July that makes me fast forward to the end of summer. I am already making mental lists of all that I want to accomplish and it doesn’t take much to realize we are running short on weekends. Getting the year started off on the right foot is important for the whole family, here are my 5 Tips for Kicking off the School Year Right.
Order Your School Supplies Online:
Groceries aren’t the only thing you can order online. Thankfully, more and more schools are taking advantage of online ordering and are passing that advantage along to parents. School supply lists can get a little picky (depending on the instructor) and who wants to spend the last days of summer chasing down those brand specific number 2 pencils? ClassBundl is a website that allows for families to order school supplies and even apparel online if the school is registered with them. Simply go online, search for your school and select the grade. When you place your order online the school supplies are delivered right to your door. That’s a win!One tip for kicking off the school year, order your supplies online with @ClassBundl #MomHacks Click To Tweet
Clean Out the Closets:
My 8 year old has a tendency to get distracted when the time comes to clean her room. At the beginning of summer she has accumulated all the items brought home from her desk and locker into that one small space. Over the course of the next several months she attended three different day camps, a family vacation and a weekend at the lake — her room has enough sand, knick knacks, and crafts to bear witness to her adventures and add to the accumulation. (At this stage in the game we are just lucky she can see the floor in her room, let alone find her new underwear for the first day of school.) That is why I always take one day before school starts to help her clean out both her bedroom and her closet. We don’t do a Spring Cleaning – but we certainly do have a “Back to School” cleaning day. This last Saturday we filled two trash bags with scraps of paper, abandoned crafts, and maimed Barbies. Then I helped her sort the clothes and shoes in her closet. We removed those items that were stained or outgrown putting them then in either a “garage sale” or “toss pile”. All in all, after the sorting, tossing, vacuuming and dusting we were 4 hours in. And, believe it or not she wasn’t complaining about all the work, instead she looked around and commented on how great her room look and felt and said we should have done it earlier.
Do Your Own Back To School Shopping:
Unlike my kids, I don’t have the luxury of having a summer off and so while they’ve enjoyed a break and are ready to return to school in the fall rest and refreshed, I am feeling a little less than whole. The angst that comes with getting back into the groove of early mornings with kids and car pool lanes is unavoidable but we can gain ground in other areas. Take advantage of sales now to stock up on must have items you’ll need in the coming months – ensuring you’re not making last minute, late night grocery runs in the midst of an already busy schedule. Here are a few of my favorite items to stock up on:
Lunch Box Prep: Make sure you have plenty of freezer packs and be sure to label them with your name. Stock up on a few boxes of your favorite size sandwich and snack bags. Fresh fruit is always best – but be sure to have some packaged fruit on standby like raisins and applesauce. Purchase a reusable water bottle – again marked with your child’s name.
Hair Today and Gone Tomorrow: With two girls we go through hair ties, bows and headbands pretty quickly. Find one of those “free” cosmetic bags you received last time you bought makeup in your local department store and stock it up with all the hair accessories your kids love. Throw in a pack of bobby pins too as someone will inevitably have a dance recital or gymnastics class to attend.
Stockings & Tights: Part and parcel of having girls means dresses, skirts and tights. Lots of tights. Before school starts I get both of the girls black, white & pink tights – and sometimes a few fun ones too. I also stock up on things I need like trouser socks and stockings making sure I don’t find myself searching through my sock drawer in vain as I get ready for work. (Here is another tip, when buying your kids new tennis shoes for the school year, pick up an extra pair of shoe laces at the same time that way you will have a pair on hand should you need them – just in case the laces end up with too many knots in them.)
Schedule those Appointments:
There is nothing like trying to avoid field trips, star student day or an exam when it comes to scheduling appointments for our kids. Working their appointments around my work schedule is hard enough – doing it around school activities and events just makes it that much more difficult. I use the last month or so of summer to get my girls in for their appointments and most of them I am able to do back to back – thus requiring only one trip instead of two. Last week both my girls had dental appointments – I sat in a chair between them as hygienists cleaned their teeth simultaneously. In the coming weeks they will also have back-to-back well child appointments and eye exams. We can’t plan around colds and injuries, but we can work the plan when it comes to those regular appointments!
Have Fun Before the Hustle:
Make sure that you take some time to enjoy the last days of summer with your family and alone.
Commit to reading – at least one book during the next month before you have to worry about all the other stuff you will need to be reading.
Enjoy favorite meals and having the time to prepare a meal without having to worry about running off to dance or softball practice.
Take a day (or two) and make a quick drive to the Lake. Enjoy the warmth of the sun, the feel of the sand between your toes and the sight of your kids jumping in the waves. Enjoy the day without an agenda or schedule – just be.
Encourage your kids – to make a card for their new teacher, to include a prayer for them. Help your kids bring a little light and encouragement to a teacher, principal or other support staff.
Run in the Sprinklers – are your shoulders up to your ears? Are you feeling stressed? Do you just need a good laugh? Whether you have a lawn irrigation system or a sprinkler staked into the ground – there is nothing that lends itself to a belly laugh more than chasing your kids across the lawn trying to dodge the spraying water.
And here is one bonus tip for all of you – pray, pray, and pray. Pray for the teachers and the administrators. Pray that your child(ren) would find favor in their eyes. Pray for godly friends, for courage and for wisdom. Pray that your child starts the year off on the right foot.
I would love to hear your tips for Kicking Off the School Year Right – please share in the comments section.