Back to School: Part I


Summer is ending, and a new school year is about to begin. Whether you love having the kiddos at home for the summer, or you are marking the days till school begins, it is time to transition once again. Hopefully I can help you with a few tips to get you and your family ready for back to school!


Step 1: Make a Checklist!

  • Write out a checklist of Things-to-Do and Things-To-Buy. Or look for a printable Back-To-School Checklist and begin methodically working through it. Or jot it in your planner!
    • This will give you peace of mind that you haven’t overlooked anything and help you organize your time.
    • Things to include are: dentist and doctors’ appointments, sign-ups for sports and other activities, shopping trips, and organizing your home.


Step 2: Set Goals for the Family

  • Create and implement new schedules and routines for everyone in the family.
    • This includes set times for: going to bed, waking up and morning routine, meals, school, chores, rest and activity time.
    • It will help the family to adjust if you begin the new schedule a couple of weeks before school begins to establish those new habits.
  • Clean out and organize your kids’ drawers and closets and make room for those new school clothes.
    • Teach them age-appropriate ways to work with you as a team so they learn this life-long skill.
    • Your goal: by the time they are high school age they can complete this activity independently.


Step 3: Get Organized

  • Schedule and go school clothes shopping. Create a list of items needed and hit those store sales. Make it a fun day with a special treat for all involved that keep those happy attitudes!
  • Set up or clean out and prepare a designated, organized homework and school paper station. Be sure to label everything in a colorful way!
  • Use drawers, cupboards, cubbies, or shelves.
  • Next use open bins, small stacking storage containers with lids, or hang decorative mail files on the wall.
  • Look for bright colored lightweight plastic organization containers to add a pop of color to your space as well.
  • Store and organize your children’s art and office supplies that they use regularly for homework assignments.
  • Hang up reward and incentive charts and store those stickers nearby. Use them to log chores, homework completed, and goals achieved!
  • While you are at it, get a crate or storage file to keep your child’s art projects in (as soon as it leaves the refrigerator or corkboard) until you are ready to digitally capture it and organize it in a keepsake album or scrapbook. Take a minute to create and label files by seasons/years so it will be organized and ready at your fingertips.


Step 4: Back-to-School Shopping

  • Consult your student’s classroom school supply list and make time to shop for those important student and office supplies. Then go buy all of those necessary back to school supplies such as crayons, pencils, erasers, notebooks and construction paper, glue sticks and bottles of glue, resting mats, and other arts and crafts
  • Look for inexpensive and creative ideas to give some of those needed classroom supplies to your child’s teacher. For example, simply tie a bundle of #2 pencils in some colorful ribbon and thread a personal note onto it. Showing your appreciation for the new teacher’s work with your child is kind and can be a great encouragement.


Step 5: Meal Prep

  • Plan out a variety of school lunch ideas and ask for your kids’ suggestions too. You can create a schedule chart to refer to or use colorful write-on/wipe-off magnets.
    • If age-appropriate, give your kids a choice of what they would like to eat in their upcoming weekly or monthly lunches.
    • Or establish a rotating schedule that takes the decision making out of the process once it is established.


Step 6:Have a Little Fun

  • Write your own or print off some silly lunch box notes for your younger children for encouragement and to let them know you are thinking about them!
    • Hide a stash of them to use on a regular basis.
    • You might even sneak one into your older kids’ backpack for an occasional surprise.
  • Create those fun 1st day of school photo signs for each of your kids from pre-kindergarten through high school. Be ready to snap that picture on their first day and capture the moment for social media, scrapbooks, or photo albums.


Preparing and organizing your family for back to school can be fun and a time to teach some new responsibility to each of your children. As seasons come and go, so does back to school, and before you know it you will be planning for summer break once again. Have a great first day back to school!


Paula Smith

I love God, family, friends, and encouraging people. I enjoy helping others in the education world from my experience in my job and from when I homeschooled my kids. As a wife, Mom, soon to be Grandma, and the Education and Homeschool Web Merchandiser, I hope my blog articles are helpful to you as we live life together.

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