15 Back to School Tips for the Whole Family

back to schoolAs summer comes to an end, preparing for the new school year can be a stressful time for parents and kids.

It can be easy to be overwhelmed with the feeling of time slipping away. To ease the stress of the hustle and bustle of back to school, we’ve put together a list of 15 tips to make things a little easier for all the super parents out there. With some productive planning and a nap, you can breeze through the new semester with ease.

As you read through these tips, visualize how you can implement these ideas as you get ready for the upcoming semester. Take a deep breath, put your war paint on, and get ready to own the school year ahead. You’ve got this.

 

  1. Set up their morning routine in advance.

The first day of school can seem like a shock for those late summer risers. Have your kids adjust their sleeping schedule to transition to the new school schedule. A good rule of thumb is to have them wake up earlier at least one week before the go back to school. This doesn’t have to mean more time for TV or video games. Use this time to visit a local park or designated reading.

  1. Have your kids help plan healthy lunches in advance and make it fun!

Here are some great ideas to get you started http://deliciouslyorganic.net/5-ways-enable-kids-make-school-lunch/.

  1. Be sure to update medical records with the school.

Make sure your child’s emergency contacts are up to date and inform their teachers so they can be aware of any medical conditions or special circumstances ahead of time.

  1. Give your kids their own planner and start working with them on how to use it ahead of time.

Check out Planners 4 Kids who make fun, affordable custom planners for kids to help your little ones get organized. The company is based here in The Woodlands, TX but can ship out of town if needed. You can find more information about them at http://planners4kids.com/.

  1. Don’t forget tax-free weekend!

Tax-Free Weekend for Texas this year is on August 11-13, 2017. Combine this tip with tip number 6 for maximum savings!

  1. Save money by comparing prices using your smartphone.

While shopping for supplies such as laptops, backpacks, lunch boxes etc., use an app such as the Shop Savvy barcode scanner (found HERE for iPhone or HERE for Android) to quickly find where the best price is located for each item. If you find an item for less elsewhere, see if the store you’re in is willing to price match.

  1. Schedule activities and plan early.

This seems simple until you’re two weeks into the semester and trying to schedule karate, but the only two days left happen to be on the same nights as soccer. The earlier you plan activities like sports, tutoring, music lessons, & dance- the more options you will have and less stressed you will be. We recommend scheduling your kids’ after school activities as early as mid-late July or early August if possible to beat the back to school rush.

  1. Save time with Walmart’s free curbside grocery pickup. (***Serious Mom Hack Alert!)

You simply select which groceries or school supplies you need, add it to your virtual shopping cart, schedule a pickup time, and check out through the site or app. In most cases, they load everything without having to ever get out of your car.

As a bonus, you’ll save more $$$ since you won’t be tempted to buy those extra items not on your list! You can find more info about Walmart’s grocery pickup here https://grocery.walmart.com/.

Not a Walmart shopper? HEB offers the same service for a fee of $4.95 per pickup and many other grocery stores are falling in line. It’s great! To find an HEB with curbside pickup, check out https://hebtoyou.com/home/.

  1. Do you drive your kids to school? Make it quality family time.

Make the most your morning drive by connecting with your kids through meaningful conversation and engagement. Use this time to get to know who their friends are, what their favorite subject is, or sing songs together and be silly. Make it fun.

Between lunch preparation, after-school activities, keeping the house together plus work commitments and deadlines, there are only so many hours in a day and days in a week. Make the most of it.

  1. Plan a special family evening each week.

A great example would be taco Tuesday or family game night. This breaks up the monotony of the week and gives each member of the family something to look forward to as well as something to commit to together, free of distractions.

  1. Create organizational spaces.

Having a system in place before school starts for storage will help you and your kids stay organized and know where everything is. Check out Good Housekeeping’s 25 tips on back to school organization and cheap DIYs.

  1. Have a plan for tests before school even starts.

Try contacting teachers ahead of time to get an idea of the semester testing and quiz schedule if possible. This will help you plan designated study time to get ahead of the curb.  Most importantly, this will help your kids to be better prepared for important upcoming grades.

  1. Designate a place for kids to place their important forms from school such as field trip consent forms, health notices, and permission slips.

  2. Keep a small amount of money in your kids’ backpack in case lunch is forgotten.

  3. Hire a tutor.

Tutors are great to help with homework and comprehension of the material they’re learning in school. For subjects like math, there are important foundational building blocks that many students miss. Unfortunately, many students are left behind in the classroom as the semester progresses, and grades suffer as a result.

The back to school season does not have to be a stress inducing experience. There will come a day when you’ll miss buying the colored pencils and choosing backpacks. So savor these moments! In the meantime, plan accordingly, efficiently, and don’t forget to enjoy these last days of Summer!