A+ Back to School Tips

Jennifer Williams

It’s the time of year that either induces tears of joys or cries of panic – Back to School. I’m kinda, sorta prepared this year. Meaning, I have a few more things to do before the kids are fully supplied, clothed, and shod with new footwear. Are you ready? Here are some back to school tips to help you get that way.


Is this your first year sending little ones off to “big kid” school? Then start a tradition that will carry you (and them) all the way through graduation. The Internet is full of ideas. Maybe you can have the same breakfast every year or take a photo in the same spot, or have the same dessert when they come home from school that day. Whatever you do, make it fun and EASY. Back to school time is stressful for kids and parents. You don’t need to add any time-consuming rituals. It is the little things that matter. Also? It really is never too late to start a tradition (unless they are graduating and this is your last year). Come up with a fun idea and try it out. Maybe it will stick.


We are about to be inundated with all the paper that the school ever purchases. Or at least it will feel like that. Plus all of the additions to our schedules. School picture day and snack day and money due back for yearbook on this day and return the library book on Friday and . .  . it is pretty much unending. All of that can be hard to keep up with, at least for me. That’s why I created a Back to School Command Center in my laundry room next to the back door. It was easy and it helps keep me and the kids organized during the school year.


I love that our school puts all of the running start and new student registration on their website. I download it and fill it all out before I head to the school for running start. It makes the whole process go a lot faster. Plus all the details for when I need to be at the school for running start and meet the teacher/orientation are right there. I add the dates and times to my calendar to make sure I don’t miss anything. Hopefully your district will have this information available for you too.


Lazy summer days are the best. Sleeping in (to 7:00, WOW!), watching TV, playing on electronics, eating whenever you want – at least that’s how it goes for my kids. Reentry is hard. It helps if you can start preparing them a few weeks ahead of time with earlier bedtimes and by waking them up in the mornings. Try to set a better schedule in the day to get them used to it again. Also, if you have a new one going to school or a child that seems to be anxious, talk to them about back to school and their worries/concerns. This will help them to know they can come to you if they have any problems.


One of the best things I ever did was organize a shelf in my cabinets for lunch supplies. I never have to spend time in the mornings searching for missing lids or lost thermoses. Everything is right where I need it. Consider organizing a lunch station in your house to make meal prep easier.


Back to school means lots of photos. You’ll want the traditional first day poses, but you’ll also want to take your camera to meet the teacher. This is the best time to get a photo of your child with their new teacher(s) and you can get their classroom while you’re there too. The first day of school is always hectic. Don’t wait until then to try to capture the perfect shot.


So much paper. Artwork and assignments and spelling tests and journals and photos. Your children will be bringing home a ton of stuff from school during the year. You will want to keep some of it. Make sure you’ve thought about this before school starts or you will wind up with a big pile of papers on your kitchen counters driving you crazy. Pretty soon all you will want to do is trash it. I have a portable file box for each child. Inside is a folder for each year. I save the things I think are the best and store them in the box along with a class photo, group photo, and other mementos from the year (like awards and kindergarten graduation caps).


How will your littles do lunch ever day? Buy it school? Take a lunch? Whatever you decide, prepare ahead of time so that you aren’t rushing on the first day to make sure they have something to eat. Charge up their account or make a grocery store run for their favorite lunch items. Most days my kid buy their lunch at school (their choice), but on the days that James takes a lunch, he prefers a hot meal.

The most important back to school tip is to not wait until the last minute. Those fully stocked supply aisles at your local store look pretty intimidating right now, but they are nothing compared to the anxiety caused by the empty aisles the week before school starts. Start talking with your kids now about what needs to be done for back to school. That way you will all be ready when the first day comes. Or as ready as you can be.



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A+ Back to School Tips

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This post was syndicated with permission to BonBon Break Media, LLC.

Jennifer P. Williams is a wife and working mom of two. She spends her days working as an auditor, and her nights writing about life and parenting. She is the Co-Director of the Southeast Texas Listen To Your Mother Show, and a two-time BlogHer Voices of the Year Honoree. Her first short story was published in the literary anthology Precipice, Volume III. Her writing has been featured on Scary Mommy, Bonbon Break and Mamapedia. You can find her on her blog, Jennifer P. Williams, where sass meets grace.