preparing for back to school

Summer is sadly always over before we feel ready for it. Preparing for back to school happens in stages here. I’ve discovered some ways it’s much easier when I start planning in advance.

Preparing for back to school

The beginning of the school year can be met with mixed emotions. I am feeling excited, a tad stressed, and a little bit sad.

My older daughter is entering second grade this year and my youngest is getting ready to start kindergarten. This will be my first year with both kids in school full time!

This summer has been busy and loud. I am looking forward to some peace and quiet during the day. I am excited about having more freedom with my time and being able to focus more on the blog, organizing (my house and my client’s houses), and maybe even exercising.

My mind has been in overdrive thinking of all of the upcoming schedule changes for my husband, my kids, and myself. My husband teaches so he has been home quite a bit more during the summer, but in September he returns to his normal work schedule.

Our kids are going to have to go back to earlier bedtimes and being woken up in the morning to get ready for school. I still really dislike waking sleeping children. That part is always painful during the school year.

Ways to prepare for back to school to ease the transition:

  1. Slowly ease back into the new schedule
  2. Talk with your kids about how they are feeling
  3. Evaluate your shopping list
  4. Print that 1st day of school thing by the night before
  5. Make lunches and have backpacks ready the night before

Slowly adjusting schedule

Easing kids into a new routine is much easier if it is done over the course of a week or so rather than trying to change it all in one night. Since the sun is out fairly late here and it is hot in the summer, we let the kids stay up considerably later during summer break.

We will be moving their bedtime back by 15 min each night until we get back to being in bed at 7pm.

If you happen to have children who sleep in (I’m not familiar with this, but I have heard these mythical creatures exist), I suggest waking them up earlier, also in 15-minute increments, until they are getting up at the time they will need to for the school year.

Also consider the appropriate amount of after-school activities for your family. Decide in advance what you will say yes or no to so you aren’t overcommitted

Talk about how they are feeling

A new school year brings different feelings for kids. Some will be excited as they anticipate a new teacher and perhaps new classmates. Others will feel incredibly anxious about the coming changes.

Help your kids as they are preparing for back to school by asking them how they are feeling about it. Let them know it is ok to feel excited or nervous.

If they are starting a new school, do what you can to help them get comfortable. Take them to tour the school and classroom ahead of time.

Encourage them to look out for other kids who are new or who look nervous and befriend them. Asking your child reach out to someone else is a great way to help them get their mind off their own anxieties as well as make another kid’s day.

Evaluate your shopping list

For many people, back to school means buying all new things…new clothes, new school supplies, new backpacks, etc. Before you hit the stores (or order on Amazon), look around and see what you have that is still usable.

If you have backpacks and lunch bags from last year that are still fully functional, use them again.

Check your home supplies to see if you happen to have some items on your list. I often shop clearance in the fall and get great deals on many supplies that we use the following year.

The key is remembering you have them before you purchase again. Duplicates can become clutter so shop your house before buying anything new.

Who says kids need a brand new wardrobe for the school year? Living simply in a consumer culture sometimes means challenging our assumptions.

If your kid still fits in their clothes they wore last year, there is no reason to feel the need to go buy a whole new wardrobe. I realize some of this is a personal preference (and I am very frugal). My kids either wear out or outgrow their clothes before they get replacements.

Print that sign the night before

Planning on having your cute kiddo hold a sign saying what grade they are going into so you can take pictures of them and post it on Facebook? If yes, do yourself a favor and print it out the night before.

I printed this one last year and put it in a frame. Then, I write on the glass with a whiteboard marker so I can keep reusing it year after year.

Education concept – school backpack with books and other supplies

Make lunch and fill backpack the night before

Do yourself a favor and make lunches and have all of the school supplies all ready to go in their backpack the night before. Starting to prepare the day before will help you to be more efficient and less stressed. 

In all likelihood, you will be running behind on day one as you are trying to get yourself and your children readjusted to leaving the house earlier. Having fewer things to deal with that morning will make the 1st day send-off go more smoothly. 

Preparing for back to school

A little preparing for back to school can go a long way in easing transitions. When you’re stressed and overwhelmed, you don’t tend to make the best decisions.

Don’t wait until the last minute to do your shopping and figure out what you need. Take your time so you can be more thoughtful and intentional.

Do a little preparing in advance to make for a smoother transition for yourself and everyone in your house.

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2 Comments

  1. I really appreciated this, especially the idea of *reusing* the things we had from before.
    I’m headed to Goodwill today to check out school supplies there before I go to other stores. Excited to look at your website more!

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