It’s here, summer is just about over and the kids will be heading back to school. While our older 2 kids are attending virtual school, our 2 younger kids will be starting a new preschool. This is our sixth year with kids going back to school and while you would think it would get easier as the years go by, it doesn’t. Now with 4 kids it just becomes more and more complex.
I thought I’d share a few tips that we’ve learned over the years to help transition summer to school year as easy as possible.
17 Back to School Tips
1. Stock up on school supplies NOW
It’s crazy how cheap school supplies are NOW, but come mid-year when you need that yellow folder and new set of markers, the price will double (if not more!) We always have a closet full of extra supplies. These serve for many purposes through out the year. Our church does a school supply donation drive that we give to. Our teachers are always in need of supplies. And then as mentioned, mid-year we always run dry! Another reason to buy now, GIFTS! Kids LOVE art supplies and these cheap school supplies make fun gifts through-out the year, perfect for birthday party gifts.
2. Start Talking About School
Don’t wait until the week before school to start talking about school – talk about it now.
3. Let Your Kids Help With Back to School Shopping
While somethings are best left for parents to shop for, let your kids have a hand in some of the back to school shopping. We always let our kids choose their back to school backpack. Check out these 100 backpacks under $25.
4. First Day of School Signs
This is a yearly tradition for us. We take a photo annual first day of school sign photos. The kids hold up a sign with the year and their grade. It’s fun to look back and see how much they change thru the years. Download Free First Day of School Signs.
5. Make Breakfast Ahead of Time
We make ahead as much breakfast meals as possible. These are typically muffins or breakfast sandwiches and then pair it with fruit. Breakfast is critical for kids, especially when at school and not eating until noon. Make ahead as much as possible to help with the school morning stress.
6. No TV in the Morning
Our mornings are chaos. We are not morning people, well everyone with the exception of our daughter would rather function at night than in the morning. To ensure that things get done, we have a no TV in the morning policy on school days.
7. Lay Out Clothes Ahead of Time
As you head back to school, lay out clothes ahead of time. We try to make sure on Sundays that we have clothes chosen for the week ahead. As extreme as that may sound (especially for a type-b mom like myself….) – it ensures we don’t have to do any more laundry. And again, 4 kids – we have to make sure all boxes are checked.
8. Create a Bedtime Routine
The late nights of summer I know will bite us soon. It’s time to create and stick to a bedtime routine so the kids know exactly what time they are going to bed and what to expect as they settle in for a good night’s rest.
9. Well Visit Checks and Vaccinations
Make sure that your kids are up-to-date with vaccinations and anything else you need to get your kids enrolled. Some states, like Texas allow exemptions if you are not vaccinating. Contact your state for more information. If your kids will be participating in school sports, typically physicals are required. Get these done ahead of time and beat the rush!
10. Back to School Hair Cuts
We fall victim every year to last minute back to school hair cuts. The week before school starts is hair cut bonanza! Try to get in before that week. This is a note to myself as well.
11. Keeping Your Cool
The kids maybe dragging you down as summer ends. Try to keep your cool and survive. School is almost in session, enjoy these last few weeks with your kids if you can!
12. Back to School Clothes Shopping
Keep a budget, write down everything you buy and try to make outfits whenever possible. This will help keep you sane! We do part of our shopping online and then part in-store. I love to save money, but i’ve learned if I don’t keep count of what I buy – I end up buying stuff that doesn’t work with something else or end up buying duplicates. Again, throwing the 4 kids card down here. With 4, I have to maintain some sense of order – especially when it comes to spending money.
13. Don’t Over Schedule Extra-Curricular Activities
This is a hard one with 4 kids, but we limit extra-curricular activities for the kids. Sure, we want them to each play sports, go to church and participate in clubs, but we have to find balance! Don’t over schedule!
14. Family Calendar
Speaking of extra-curricular activities – find a family calendar that works best for you. My husband and I share a Google calendar to help orchestrate the chaos – but with the kids, we have a white board calendar that we use to keep them informed of the activities they need to know about.
15. Make the First Week Back to School as Stress Free as Possible
Your kids will experience back to school jitters. Some worse than others. Make the week as stress-free as possible for them. Give grace whenever possible. Maybe lay off on some chores and give them extra attention.
16. Celebrate the New School Year
We try to celebrate often. One thing we celebrate is the new school year. It doesn’t have to be over the top. Let the kids choose their favorite restaurant, make a special pancake back to school dinner, bake a back to school cake – just make it fun and a time to celebrate the new season.
17. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Just focus on the big, don’t worry about the small stuff. All the back to school kinks will work themselves out.
What Tips Do You Have to Help Kids Transition Back to School?