Jackson is heading back to school on Monday.. - Can you believe it!? - I know in some places school has already started... I think managing the school year takes total organization to make it run smoothly. I thought I should take some time and share some of my tips to get it all back in order! This is Part 1 and Part 2 will be up by tomorrow.
First things First..
Organize your schedule and your lives.
We use a wall as a command center around here. It holds so much information that we as a family need to know. You can see the full Jaggers Command Center
here in this video..
You could make this big or small and put in anywhere in your house. The frig would work too! I just have a lot of stuff and I use a entire wall. Having an area like this will help keep everything sorted out during the year. The bottom part of the wall is Jackson's area. It even includes his morning, after school, evening and weekly chores. Plus there are some little hooks that will come in handy for all sorts of things.
Maintaining a schedule will help your child get into the school groove much easier. Jackson thrives on a schedule... he really does.. This entire week we have been reducing the time he goes to bed. Did you know that the average amount sleep a child needs is 11 hours??? It makes a huge difference in our house when our 9yr old gets plenty of rest.
Save money on school supplies
I think every woman I know loves school supplies.. even if she has no children! I find this is a great time to stock up on supplies that we need around the house as well as getting stuff for the kids.
- Walmart makes school supplies tax free in August.
- When it comes to the kids, get their list off the school website or Walmart ususally has them out in the middle of the floor to make shopping handy for you. Make sure you have a list of what you need and stick to it.
- Buying early and also buying late is the key..
- At Walmart in Early June / July when school supplies start popping out.. they are at their cheapest.. They are also cheap after labor day..
- I use to just get the list and head to Walmart to pick everything up.. It always cost a fortune but this year I was different. I shopped the sales with coupons and got supplies at different times. I still had my list but as I would wait till something was on sale.. used a coupon.. and then scratched it off the list. Jackson didn't like this way a lot because he would rather go buy everything at once. However, I saved a ton of money doing it this way.
Invest in a good back pack
Those kiddy cartoon back packs might be ok for a kindgergardener but you should really invest in a good backpack.
I found these Nike Backpacks on sale for $28. Not too bad and they are a great backpack for the kids to use. They have wide straps, steardy zippers, and no rollers. Kids backpacks should not be more than 5% of their body weight.. But those roller ones in my opinon are not comfortable to every carry and I think its just lazy.. SKIP THE ROLLERS.
Get Comfortable shoes
Shoes are really important. Again those little lite up shoes might be cute but there not good for their feet and they won't last. Invest in a good pair which give them a little room to grow or thick socks. Again.. I go with Nike.
Pack healthy Lunches
I know its a bit more work but packing your childs lunch box will not only save you money but will be better for them than those nasty school lunches. I think having a good lunch box will prove to be more handy than anything else.
I already did a another post about this lunch box / blox set..
I think its going to be perfect for school lunches..
It a Rubbermaid system that clicks together..
To see it in more detail.. check out my video..
Again.. I don't want Jackson taking in a ton of sugar during the school day. You will be able to use leftovers or coupons to help save. Sending a healthy lunch will give your child more of a mental boost during the day. Breakfast and lunch really do power you to get through the day. Jackson's Dr told me that Breakfast should be the biggest meal of the day.. Lunch should be the 2nd largest meal and Dinner should be the smallest meal of the day. After thinking about how the body works and how in the morning and afternoon you really need the food energy but in the evenings.. you don't need as much energy.. We don't really pratice that around here but thinking seriously about making the change.
I think all kids should start school in new clothes.. I think its a great tradition to start.. but you don't have to buy everything at once. If you shop for clothes later during the end of Sept - Beginning of Oct Sales you will save much more money. We did a lot of back to school clothes shopping with all the kids but we didn't buy everything. We bought a lot of clothes they can wear now in the warmer months.. new shoes.. socks.. underware.. etc.. but a lot of their fall and winter clothes will be bought in the coming months when the sales start. This really helps save you money.
Before School starts there is always an open house where you should go meet the teachers, see the classroom and let the kids figure their way out through the hallways to get to their classes. I think this is such an important time because it gives everyone a chance to break the ice before the big day. Jackson loved to going..He saw where his seat and locker is.. This is also the time when they give you important information about the school year.. If you miss it.. be sure to make time to go meet with the teacher another time.
School Bus Safety
I think if your child will be riding the school bus its important to go over everything they need to know including their bus # and bus rules. Bullying goes on a lot on the school bus so its a good time to go over being a bully and being bullied. And what to do if they see some other child being bullied.
Its also very important to have a back up plan just in case you can't be home when they get off the bus. - Clearly for other kids - such as were the housekey is hidden, or if they should go to a neighbors, important phone numbers ect. Get a plan because you never know!
Take a Photo - I think back to school pictures are always so sweet!
Have a Special Breakfast.. Pick a breakfast that you can make every year..Spinkle pancakes with sausage and juice for us in the Jaggeres household!
Say a Prayer each morning asking the for perfect day in school.
Have a fun dinner the first day with some special little treats for the kids.
Just find some fun ways to celebrate their first day.. Going to school is a BIG deal!!! Kids really only want to know that they matter so making some special
Back to school Traditions
will make them feel loved and special.
Try to over come Morning Madness with a Great Evening Routine
Each evening, think ahead to the following morning; where can you make things easier?
Set the breakfast table the night before, and make sure breakfast foods are as prepared as much as you can.
Lay out children's clothing the night before.
Check backpacks make sure you got all the missing homework, projects or library books.
Make sure musical instruments or sports bags are packed and ready to go. Just get as much done in the evening as you can.
Set an alarm in the kitchen so in the morning everyone knows that its time to get out the door.
- I will try to get a post up soon of my evening routine -
Stay Tuned for Back to School Part 2 coming up tomorrow!
Do you have any back to school tips!?
I would love to hear them!!
CLICK HERE FOR PART 2!