Back To School – Getting Ready Tips

With summer vacation coming to a close, I wanted to share my best tips on getting ready for back-to-school.

Everyone is scrambling to get one last bit of summer vacation this long weekend. If you are a mama with a child of school age, you know that August is not only the last month of vacation, it is also the month of back-to-school preparation. 

Back-to-School: A Whole New Routine

When your first child begins school, your whole family lifestyle literally changes. My husband and I both work from home, and although we have a routine, we never need to rush in the morning to start our days. As well, I have parented with a “go with the flow” attitude thus far. When the boys were little and not in school, if they were having an off day, I would simply change my plans. I was that fortunate.

Well, not anymore. From waking up to preparing the day to planning the afternoons, everything has a set schedule and as a mama, I have to be the most organized for the whole family. So how do you prepare for such a change?

My Best Tips on Getting Ready for Back-to-School

Create a Summer Bucket List

Ever since our vacation planning months ago, I have felt the need to do a lot of really fun things as a family before school. While some of the bucket list items are simple, others require a lot of planning. Whatever the case may be, you want to enjoy this time, not overdo it. My bucket list has included:

  • enjoy swimming as a family
  • go to the zoo
  • have a picnic
  • read stories about going to school
  • see a family movie in the theater
  • build a tent
  • visit the local farm
  • collect sticks and rocks in the forest
  • play board games
  • have friends and their kids over for a BBQ
  • go for a road trip

Whatever you and your child will enjoy should make it on your bucket list. Of course, when school starts, you will still have weekends, but when school is in session, time flies. The point is to have quality time with your child. It will help them open up and talk to you about all their feelings about school.

The School Itinerary

In elementary, the school gives a list of items necessary to start school with. The list is simple enough, and after a few flyers in the mail and comparison shopping, it’s fairly easy to round up everything(click here to read how we handle school supplies).

A classroom with rows of wooden desks and orange chairs and a large blackboard on the wall

Compile your own list too, including things like new running shoes, gym clothes, a fall jacket, etc. It doesn’t seem like much, but when everyone is hitting the stores at the same time, sizes run out fast.  

Clean Out the Fridge and Pantry

If you are anything like me, there are some expired things lurking in your pantry and fridge from the summer. It was imperative to me to clean it all up before school starts. Now, the pantry is filled with staples and ready-to-eat snacks that my boys love. The kitchen is cleaned up and ready for fresh produce and our essentials. One tip for both places is to make a lower level spot for snacks for your children. The children that can open the fridge will feel a sense of accomplishment and independence if you give them the chance to get their own food. I like to clean and chop up some fresh fruit and and vegetables, and leave them in containers, along with dips and crackers. It’ll help with the bustle of getting home from school.

A clean, white fridge filled with various food items like fruits, veggies, and condiments

Make an Art Display Area

Once my boys started school, I knew I needed more that one little spot to display their drawings. They come at such a fast pace in the house! So I decided to get an inexpensive poster-size cork board and hang it right smack in the kitchen where we can all see. Everyone feels very special to see their work on display! I tend to fill it up completely and leave the art displayed until the next theme or holiday is done at school. It’s also a great alternative to a fridge covered in taped paper.

Carve Out a Homework Station in the Home

Granted, kindergarten doesn’t have homework, but little ones love drawing and colouring every day. So to make them feel like big kids (and avoid having the kitchen table turn into a craft drop off), make a place with a toddler-friendly table. they are small enough to place in a bedroom and large enough for them to spread out drawings, and have you sit with them as well. You can find a lot of different options for this in unexpected places. IKEA is a good place to check out, in the children’s furniture department.  We had a table like this in our kitchen for years and it was perfect. When they get older, an adult desk will be the next step.

A hand writing with a pencil in a notebook

To Summarize:

Are you ready for the new school year? Here are my best advice for getting ready for back-to-school:

  • Check off items on your summer bucket list
  • Make your own check list for school gear and supplies
  • Clean out the fridge and pantry
  • Make an art display area, as well as a homework station

More Back-to-School Tips

If you enjoyed this article, then you may want to check out these ones, too:

5 Ways to Simplify School Lunches

Starting School in an Eco-Friendly Way

11 Back-to-School Books for Young Children

So tell me, do you have any other important tips to add to this list? Please leave a comment to let me know!

Happy September everyone!
With summer vacation coming to a close, it's time to get excited for a new school year! Here are our very best tips on getting ready for back-to-school.

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Journeys of The Zoo September 6, 2012 at 3:16 am

You are so organized and chalk full of ideas (speaking of chalk…). Hope that back to school went well for you and yours.

Besos, Sarah
Zookeeper at Journeys of The Zoo

Elizabeth FrugalMomEh September 6, 2012 at 3:35 am

These are all great tips… I think I am going to be in for a shock when we need to go through this ourselves!

Tammy inRdream September 6, 2012 at 10:06 am

Great tips!

Shashers Life September 6, 2012 at 1:44 pm

I need to get more organized, it just makes everything go that much better!

ashley picco September 7, 2012 at 2:14 am

great tips – we have a drawer for plastic cups/plates/bowls….kyle (2) loves to help me put the dishes away and this is something easy


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