Can you believe that school starts in just a few short weeks? Where has the summer gone? Very few things have been marked off my summer to-do list and now it’s time to work on the-back-to-school-to-do list! Shew!

Whether your kids are homeschooled, attend private or public school, we all have to prepare. Here are some tips to prepare for back to school, saving both money and time:

1. Supplies: Oh the supply list, pencils, notebooks, dry erase markers, crayons and on and on and on. To save money, shop your “stockpile”. Go through your drawers and closets to see what supplies you have left over from years past. Check it off the list. One less item to purchase is money saved – cha-ching!

2. Clothes & Uniforms: Again, shop your closets and drawers before you go to the store! If the clothes/uniforms are still in good condition and the kiddos can wear them or can be passed down to a younger sibling, there isn’t a need to spend a lot of money on new items. I generally add two to three new short sleeve and long sleeve shirts for the new school year in additional to what I already have. Our school has a program in which we can donate outgrown uniforms to the younger kids in our school which saves money. If your school doesn’t have a program like this, maybe you can start one!

3. Lunch:  We pack lunch everyday which can be a challenge to be both creative and healthy.  It is my goal this year to prepare a 20-day nutritious lunch menu so I will not be standing in front of the fridge wondering what to make!  By planning, I will be better prepared and KJ will not have cold sandwiches everyday.  Some of our favorite and easiest choices include fresh fruit and veggies, applesauce, yogurt, PB & J, and soup.

4. Routine:  To avoid the I-don’t-want-to-get-out-of-bed syndrome, start your family’s school routine  two weeks before school  begins.  Re-establish both bath time and bed time routines.  This will make for an easier transition for the first day of school.  Remember to allow extra time for the first day of school pictures!

5. Prep:  “The Jewish day begins the night before”, I once heard my friend say.  Such a simple statement, but yet so wise.  Ask yourself, “What can I do tonight to make my day easier tomorrow?”

    • Set your coffee for automatic brew to have nice, hot coffee waiting for you;
    • Keep healthy breakfasts on hand by making ahead and freezing. Everyone can choose what they want and pop it in the microwave for a quick breakfast;
    • Prepare clothes the night before including any necessary ironing;
    • Prepare and freeze healthy lunches for both you and the kiddos for another “grab and go” idea;
    • Make sure the kids have what they need for the next day of school, gym clothes, instruments, school projects, etc. The older ones can do this on their own, but the younger ones will need your help.

6. Calendar: To keep the kids on track during the school year, place a calendar at eye level and in a location they will see it everyday.   We use a small weekly, dry erase calendar along with the weekly assignment schedule provided by the school.  I discovered a few years ago that KJ does much better when he knows what to expect.

7.  After School RoutineHaving an after school routine will help reduce the “I’m too’s” of after school.  You know the “I’m too hungry”, “I’m too tired” and the “I’m too active”, to do my homework.  By having a routine in place kids will know what to expect when they get home.  Make an “after school chart” and place it with each child’s calendar.  Do they get a snack as soon as they get home? Do they get some “me time”, “play time” or even some “mommy time” before homework?  Is homework expected to be completed before or after dinner? Remember, kids are not robots. Each day is different and their needs may be different each day. Be flexible without going too far outside the box.

For a successful school year be prepared, be organized, be flexible, but most of all pray for your children, their friends, teachers, and their safety.

About Marsha

A hard working wife and mother!
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