The first day of school is fast approaching.
Abby’s excited to return school to see her friends, especially since her BFF is in the same class. I love it! We will meet the teacher to scout out the classroom at the upcoming open house. This year will be even better for me. I will be working from home, allowing me to get her on and off the bus each day. Feeling thankful.
I appreciate the routine school provides for Abby and our family. Our routine has been a work in progress to find the right fit. Let me share a few of the things that have worked for us.
Last year, we struggled with getting Abby dressed. Each morning I would pick an outfit for her. She would complain about some aspect of it. It’s too small. Too big. Too tight and more… I would switch the clothes to make her happy then I was getting frustrated each morning. Fashion problems are for teenagers not six year olds. I soon created the rule, “I only pick out one outfit.” If she didn’t like what I picked, it was her choice to select something else. Eventually this wore on us too. We switched to canvas hanging shelves in her closet.
The Solution: School Clothes Organizer
The Routine: Each Sunday, we plan her school clothes based on the school activity of the day. Gym requires athletic wear, etc. A pair of underwear and socks is placed in each cubby. Sometimes I pick the clothes, sometimes she does. The fashion drama ended. That’s what I wanted.
Here is an alternative I found using foam door hangers. Involving your kid in the design process will increase their likelihood of using the system. Happy crafting!
Abby’s school collects Box Tops and Campbell Soup labels to raise money. Last year, I had the tiny cardboard piled on the microwave or windowsill.
The Solution: Upcycle Your Pringles or Crystal Light Cylinder. Another opportunity to have your mini DIYer involved.
The Routine: Drop the Box Top in each time you clip it from the box. Bring it to school once it’s full.
Is your child’s backpack overflowing with papers and projects? I love seeing Abby’s progress at school and I’ve even framed a few of my favorite pieces, but I’m sorry to say, not every paper is a masterpiece.
The Solution: School Keepsake Binder.
Abby can turn the pages of her growth and development. She will periodically go find her binder to look through and show off her favorites. It’s a way to honor her work.
The Routine: Have either you or your child remove all paperwork from the backpack. Complete action items immediately and return to the backpack. Recycle or trash the non-masterpiece projects. Let your child help. Explain why you can’t keep EVERY piece.
Try this alternative! Probably allows for more keepsakes. And can be stored away from view.
Food is probably my least favorite thing to deal with. Grocery shopping, preparation, and clean up. I’m fortunate to have a husband that cooks; otherwise, we’d be eating cereal every night! To make these tasks more enjoyable, I try to bring Abby shopping with me. (Yes, I said more enjoyable.) She often will have her own list and cart. Keeping her interested with the task at hand and teaches her a life skill. She also gets to pick some of her school snacks.
The Solution: Pre-packed Snacks.
Refrigerated school snacks are stored in one of the drawers. I’m okay with having these snacks stolen to eat around the house. Usually, it means a healthier choice. Then I store the pre-packed dry snacks up high in the pantry. I want them to be saved for school lunches not for laziness around the house. Snacks to munch on at home are kept low for little hands to easily access.
The Routine: After grocery shopping, prep individual servings to be stored both in your refrigerator and pantry.
I suspect the homework will begin now that Abby enters first grade. We haven’t needed to jump this hurdle, but these are some of the ideas I like to stay organized.
The Solution: Homework Caddy
I love the idea of upcycling tin cans. The vibrant colors stimulate creativity and the lazy-susan makes things easy to grab. Learn how to make it here.
If you don’t want to take up table space, try this over-the-door idea. Little hands can grab the daily items down low while mom and dad grab the messy supplies stored up high.
The Routine: After unwinding from school, Abby will settle into her homework station. All the necessary tools are right at her hands while mom and dad encourage and help along the way.
Now we are really prepared for school to start!
What do you do to make back-to-school easier?
[…] what doesn’t (not to mention what’s fashionable or “so last year”) and to make the annual back to school shopping trip for all your kids’ clothing and school supply needs. Call me crazy, but even though […]
Great tips Kerri! I’m going to have to try some of these!
Glad to hear! What grade is your daughter going into?