My children start school next week. Therefore, I am using this week to get not only my children ready for school, but I am trying to get myself prepared as well. Here is a look at what I am working on this week to be prepared for the new school year.
1. Meet & Greet + Back-to-School Books
Most preschools and some elementary schools have a “meet and greet” before the first day and that allows your child to start their first day with some familiarity. My son will have the opportunity to meet his new teacher and classmates this week and my daughter will have her turn next week. I have already been talking to them about their new school, teacher’s name and getting the idea of school back into their minds. Here is a cute photobook idea for those new to preschool.
Another good idea is to read books for the first day of school. Here are some suggestions: Eliza’s Kindergarten Surprise, The Night Before Kindergarten, Kindergarten Rocks!, The Berenstein Bears Go To School,
2. Start Your Morning Routine Before The First Day of School
A great piece of advice came from my girlfriend of four, Katie. She suggested starting the morning routine before school starts so that we are not all rushing trying to adjust on the first day of school. As of today I woke the kids up and started a morning routine so that come the first day of school we can all be ready and adjusted. This also goes for bedtime. Fortunately for us we didn’t change their bedtime during the summer. There were a few exceptions but the bedtime routine stayed. Chech out Kimberly’s 7 tips for a calm morning, click here.
3. Meal Planning
This is something I do on Sunday’s. I plan out our families meals for the week. This allows me to stay budgeted and cut down on trips back and forth to Trader Joe’s. (For some TJ staples we love, click here). for dinner sugestons click here, here, and here. I also just started using this cute printable to track my meals and shopping list!
Monday: Shepard’s Pie
Tuesday: Dinner at a friend’s house
Wednesday: Teriyaki chicken, steamed vegetables and brown rice
Thursday: Chicken Azteca
Friday: Grandma GG’s Barbacoa
4. Prepare Ready-to-Go Snacks
One of my new favorite blogs is iHeart Organizing. The creator, Jennifer, blogged about tips to making the kids lunches less stressful. Like Kimberly has suggested before, make their lunches the night before. Now she added another time-saving idea, after you do your shopping, prepare the dry snacks and the refrigerated snacks ahead of time and keep them together in a simple pull-out bin. So at night when you’re packing their lunches, all you have to do is start grabbing the already prepped snacks and viola! I already implemented this into my routine this weekend and it’s quite clever! I should have done this at the beginning of Summer.
5. Create a kids “workstation”.
At the beginning of Summer I designated a small area in our kitchen as the kids “crafts table.” I put together two old side tables to make on long desk and stored their arts supplies underneath. I also found this cute curtain rod from Ikea to display their projects and school work throughout the year.
6. In addition to making the kids lunches the night before, one thing I am going to work into our routine is going to be pulling out the kids clothes the night before. My daughter is already a talented little fashionista, however, some of her choices may be a bit too cool for Kindergarten. That’s when mom needs to step in for a “kinder-warbrobe-intervention”.
Another suggestion I heard yesterday was to try to prepare the after-school snack right before pick-up. If your child is anything like mine, she doesn’t finish her lunch because she gets carried away chatting and wanting to play with her friends. So, when they come home, having snacks ready helps to wind them down and fill their tummy before it’s time to start homework. Yep, homework in Kindergarten.
Next week feels like the New Year all over again, meaning that I am ready and excited to start new routines, goals and get organized. What about you? Is there anything you do ahead of time to get ready for the new school year? I’d love for you to share tips or advice in a comment!