Back to School Tips

 
IMG_2067.JPG

Although it definitely still feels like summer here in the Southeast, we are headed back to school! And after so many carefree barefoot days, I think a bit of structure will be a nice change for everyone. Our public schools went back on August 1st, and we are officially starting homeschool today, so I thought I’d share some of our tips for getting everyone back into the swing of a routine!


ORGANIZE CLOTHES + CLOSETS:

This will look a bit different for everyone, but for us this is the time of year I go through the boys’ clothes from last fall to see what no longer fits or needs to be mended. I also recently re-vamped their clothes storage and decided to hang almost everything for my five year old (despite my deep love for Marie Kondo). I find that having his clothes on hangers makes it easier for him to help put them away, for him to choose his clothes and to dress himself!


ORGANIZE SUPPLIES:

Whether this means school supply shopping, gathering and organizing homeschool resources or simply digging the backpacks out of the closet, take a morning to find all your school items together! I love including my kids in this process so we can talk about the importance of putting things where they go, and Elliot has loved bringing out his backpacks from the previous year.

We like to create ‘stations’ for getting dressed, grabbing backpacks and lunches to make getting out of the house easier - more on this below! Here are a few of our favorite school items:

IMG_1199.JPG

MEAL PREP:

While I’ve always been a big fan of meal prep, I find that it helps us so much when our weeks become full! Everyone has different preferences and systems, but here are a few easy tips to get you started or to help you organize if you’re already on the meal prep train!

  • Keep a running Google Spreadsheet with your favorite recipes, links to the recipe or the cookbook where it can be found if applicable, special ingredients that may not be in your stock pantry, and recipe notes for doubling, freezing or ingredient substitutions. This is a lifesaver when you’re in a food rut and is also a great way to share meal ideas with a partner or family member. You can find some of our past meal plans here.

  • Make double batches for the freezer! With fall just around the corner we have started a small stash of freezer meals like chili, shepherd’s pie, and vegetable soup that simply need to thaw overnight.

  • Add a few meals to your freezer that can go from freezer to crockpot and have dinner ready when you get home! OR grab an Instantpot (highly recommended) so you can thaw meat in minutes and whip up something on the fly.

CHOOSE THE EASY OPTION:

Utilize services that make your life easier!

  • Use Instacart or other grocery delivery system to have your groceries delivered.

  • Utilize meal planning services like Real Plans (my personal fave + the one we use!).

  • Get together with other moms to coordinate a carpool system for school or after-school activities.

IMG_0182.JPG

SUNDAY PREP + EVENING PREP

  • Every evening set out the things for the next day - school clothes, water bottles, vitamins, lunchboxes, backpacks etc. You could even organize a week’s worth of clothes! (I did this during my clinical in pharmacy school when my mornings stated at 4am, and it was helpful to have options!).

  • Use the same place every day so your kids know where to go to find exactly what they need! We have a bench in our living room that serves as our ‘morning station’ with clothes, library books, backpacks, etc.

  • Prep-pack lunches for everyone, fill up water bottles and prep backpacks each night. Place cold items in a fridge drawer or shelf where your kids can grab things themselves!

  • You can do these things each evening or take it up a notch and prep as much as possible on Sundays!

HAVE SOME FUN!

In the midst of all the to-do lists and responsibilities don’t forget to add in FUN! Dance parties in the living room, water fights in the backyard, even something as simple as a nature walk or sharing a treat with your kids after school shopping and giving them your full attention.

What does your family do to make the transition from summer a little easier? I would love to hear your tips below!