One of my most clear Back-to-School memories is the new book tote my mother bought for me in the 4th grade. It had the perfect fabric – a green tartan plaid – and a cross body strap adjusted to the perfect length! Absolutely EVERYONE had one of some kind or another, and so did I!
I’m in charge of getting everyone back to school, and things seem a smidge more complicated! I’m here to tell you that getting yourself organized is key. Here are my top 3 ideas to start you on your way.
Tip #1 – Organize the FOOD!
Getting back-to-school can create mealtime planning chaos if you aren’t prepared. Plan out breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks. Trust me on this one – it will make life SO MUCH EASIER! You will also save a TON of time cooking and grocery shopping. My method is simple. Create a ‘Catagory Plan’ for each day, make a list, and shop for the week. For example:
- Monday – Bread Breakfast ( Could be bagels and jam, Peanut Butter and Banana Toast, or French Toast – add juice )
- Tuesday – Egg Breakast ( Choose Scrambled Eggs, Bacon-Cheese-Egg Scramble, or Eggs-on-Toast – add fruit )
- Wednesday – Hot Breakfast ( Might choose Malt-o-Meal, Oatmeal, Breakfast Burritos – add juice )
Now some dinner ideas:
- Monday – Make your own Mexican Dish ( Taco shells, Tostada Shells, or Tortilla Chips – bowls of fixings to choose )
- Tuesday – Pasta Night ( Spagetti and Meatballs, Lasagna, or Ravioli and a tossed salad )
- Wednesday – Crock Pot Night ( Roast and potatoes, Chili, Baked Chicken and Mushroom Sauce – add rolls )
For when the kids are STARVING after school, have a basket in the pantry with single serving packets of healthy snacks – nuts, granola bars, fruit snacks, and popcorn. Have a clear plastic container in the fridge with yogurt cups, fruit cups, whole fruit, and cheese sticks.
You get the picture. There are fabulous food ideas and meal-planning websites, and my favorite – MOXIE Girl on Pinterest! But whatever you do – make a plan! It’s a great way to save money and stop the ‘last minute fast-food’ habit!
Tip #2 – Create a Study Plan and a Designated Study Area –
Your plan can be as simple as “Study from 4-6 PM every day after school at the kitchen counter”, or as complicated as each child scheduling his own hours according to his musical or athletic after-school activities or his job. He might have his own desk in his room, complete with a laptop! Here are the non-negotiables:
- Have a designated study time and place EVERY DAY
- Absolutely no phone, computer games, or TV during study time – FOCUS is the ticket on this one
- Have supplies collected and handy – use a desk drawer, tray, or maybe a tote that can be brought to the counter
- Work for 30 minutes, take a ‘moving break’, where you get up and walk around, then back to work
- Eat healthy snacks before studying – it makes a difference! Avoid sugary snacks and junk food
Tip #3 – Have a Stellar Back-to-School Morning Routine –
Are you that frustrated Mom yelling at the kids to GET UP ALREADY!? Or the rushed Dad yelling GET IN THE CAR!? Be proactive and sit down with the kids and create a Back-to-school morning routine. Consider:
- Consistant bedtime and wake-up time daily
- Schedule bathroom time for more than 1 child – Showers, makeup and hair, toothbrushing and personal time
- Have breakast! It’s a bad habit to run out the door without eating! Studies have shown that kids do better in school after a healthy, well-balanced breakfast. Schedule the same time every day, and make an effort to sit together. It’s a great, calm family way to start the day
- Get out the door on time! Do this with practice. The first few weeks of school are when you actually nail down the amount of time that is reasonable to get out the door in the morning.
- Prepare the night before! Have the kids decide on what to wear, find shoes, and get sports bags packed, and backpacks ready.
While it takes a little extra effort and planning up front, scheduling your meals and snacks, creating a great study atmosphere, and having a stellar morning routine will get this school year off to a FABULOUS start!
Header Photo via <a href=”https://visualhunt.com/photos/apple/”>Visualhunt.com</a>