The school supplies are bought, the first day of school is marked on the calendar, and yet you feel totally unprepared for school to start again. As a parent, what else can you do so you can be prepared for the whirlwind of back to school? Use these 5 ways to enjoy the last few days of summer and start the school year out on the right foot.
Countdown to School
Savor summer and get excited about the school year with a back to school countdown. Make a countdown where each day has something fun to do together so you be sure to make the most of your last summer days. End it with a Back to School celebration meal. The Dating Divas have a super Back to School Celebration Kit that includes a countdown, banner, first day breakfast surprise ideas and printables, school supplies printable post-it notes, lunchbox love notes, first day teacher gift tags, first day of school photo memory sign, and first day memory survey. It's a great way to kick off the school year to a good start.
The countdown is a great way to cross off those last bucket list items on your summer list. The Back to School meal is a great time to make goals, refocus, and talk about fears and excitement for the new year.
Already started school? You can still send your child off to school with lunch notes and do a special breakfast. Try this easy breakfast in bed idea instead.
Stay Organized Throughout the Year
One of the hardest things is keeping track of every class and assignments for every child. You need some kind of plan to stay on track. Ask your children's teachers for a basic idea at the beginning of the year if they haven't already offered the information. This way you can at least plan for the big school projects and events without having any last minute surprises- like a big school science project 2 weeks before the end of the school year. If you don't have a school year planner yet, I recommend the Mormon Mom Planner. It helps keep school and church life organized in one place. I also highly recommend having weekly family councils. However, you keep track, be sure to plug in all those big assignments and dates now so you don’t double book yourself later.
Mom Tip: Take a picture of all the important school info pages. That way if something happens to your calendar or you need your teacher’s phone number it’s always in your phone. You can make a separate “School Info” folder so it’s easy to find any time you need it.
Send Them Off with Love
Set an alarm to remember to have family prayer before you head off to school. It always takes a couple of weeks to get used to a new routine. A little note in your child's binder or lunch box can go a long way as well. If you buy the Back to School Celebration Kit mentioned above, you already have a bunch of notes ready to go. One of my favorite things to do is include the notes in their daily school supplies after school has already started.
About a week after school starts, sneak (with teacher permission) into the classroom during lunch, use a school parent's night, or take advantage of that backpack your child brings home each day. Leave notes throughout their school supplies- a note inside their crayon box, hidden messages throughout their spelling notebook, a sticky note in their reading book, something in the back of their locker. They are fun surprises and you never know when your children will find them all. I like to wait until after the first week because the enthusiasm tends to die down and I know my children can use a pick me up. Plus after the first week, you will know which supplies they will be using the most. It may take them all year to find every note but each time they will know how much they are loved.
Looking to include a laugh too? Print out my free Mormon Lunchbox Joke cards to easily include a little fun.
Stretch Your School Supplies
Read these Mom hacks to get the most out of your back to school supplies. While markers and crayons are fun, it's always better when you come under budget AND come away with a stock pile. These tips will help you organize and plan for the school years, not just save on a one time coupon.
Get Your Camera Ready
The first day of school is the perfect excuse to take a ton of photos and document your family's history. Read through these 50 Back to School Photography Tips and Ideas so you can take the perfect photo and avoid the awkward squints and shadow in mine above. There are also prop suggestions and poses for every age. Remember to charge your camera and make sure there is plenty of space (especially if you use your phone). Step 2: Remember to share the photos and print some to keep. If you are making a photo book, the first day of school is a great time to update it!