Back to School Tips
It’s a weird back to school season isn’t it?
We’ve decided to: Homeschool/Home-educate/Remote Learn with the kids this year. For a variety of reasons (the main one being we think it is the right fit for them personally – sitting in one classroom all day while wearing masks doesn’t sound super enjoyable to me, let alone them). With the kids launching their own business and us being able to work from home (gratefully), we feel it’s as good as time as any. We didn’t make this decision lightly as I’m sure none of you are either. And we also recognize that we were able to come to this difficult decision from a place of privilege (we both work at home and our kids don’t need any additional services that they can only get at school). With that said, there’s no simple, easy choice for parents this year. As I told one of my friends – All we can do is make the best decision for our family with the options & information we have right now. And we need to continue to give one another acres of grace as we all navigate this situation. I was really inspired by this article and this one
For those of you heading back to class soon or for all of you beginning a hybrid or homeschool model, we thought we’d share a few of our favorite back to school organizing tips and traditions again this year.
1) Back to School One on One Dates with the Kids – I love to take the kids on their own little back to school lunch & shopping dates (where they get school supplies & a new outfit). This may look a little different this year but we use this time to talk about our goals & feelings about the upcoming school year. It’s a wonderful way to learn what they may be nervous about and talk about what things they’d like to learn and accomplish this school year. Here are some cute free 1st day of school signs to download as well.
2) Back to School Feast – The evening before school starts we put together a special dinner for the kids complete with a family theme, crowns & huge cupcakes. Past year’s themes included: Root for each other and what each other grow. Do No Harm But Take No Crap and Stay Safe & Make Good Choices and this year our family back to school motto is: There is so much possibility on the other side.
3) Buy extra – We always build in some extra money into the budget to buy some additional school supplies for any students that may not have been able to get what was needed and for the teachers. It’s a simple way to remind the kids about helping & caring for their classmates.
4) Get Organized – Before school begins I like to go through the kids closets & rooms and clear out clothes/books/backpacks etc. that no longer fit or that they no longer use and donate them to local families in need. This helps clean up their rooms (score) and helps other families (bonus).
5) Lunch & Snack Set-up – We put together a make your own lunch & snack bin in both the pantry & fridge. Now that our kiddos are older they help with making their lunches in the morning and packing their healthy snacks. These are my favorite inexpensive lunch containers. Here are some healthy & easy school lunch & snack ideas. With them learning from home this year we are going to have them on alternating lunch duty for the fam.
6) Meal Planning – Once the school year busyness begins I really try hard to plan out our meals based upon after school & evening activities (eg. simple dinners/crockpot meals on busier/later nights). I’m not sure what if any extracurricular activities will be happening this fall but it’s all too easy to get takeout if I don’t have a plan.
7) Homework Station – In the past I have set up a little homework station so they can sit at the kitchen table and do their homework while we are making dinner. This is stocked with everything they need so they can get right to it. This year, we have little desk stations for each of them to do their schoolwork during the day.
8) Plan – Your older kiddos may also benefit in beginning to use a weekly planner to keep track of their own schoolwork, after school activities, chores, goals, etc. I love to have the kids set goals (personal, spiritual, educational, financial categories are all beneficial). Download a free kids goal planner here or our homeschool planner here.
What are some of the ways you are getting ready for back to school time?