It’s August so that means it’s back to school month here! We still have a few weeks until the first day, but that doesn’t mean I’m not starting to get geared up now. Besides for the desire to want to sleep in, I think my kids are getting excited for the new year to begin. We’ll have a 5th grader, 3rd grader and 1st grader, so preparing for back to school is not new for me, but that doesn’t mean I still don’t have to prep. Over my many years of starting school, I consider myself a little bit of an “expert” so today I am sharing my 6 steps for an awesome first day of school- for you AND the kids!
The first day of school can be an anxious, nerve-wracking and exciting day for everyone, especially for newbies at the school game. We all want our kids to have the best first day they can, filled with fun memories, friends and confidence, and that all starts at home before school. By taking some extra time to prep and having appropriate expectations you can send your little ones off to their first day full of smiles and excitement for their journey to come.
Back to school definitely can’t be started one day in advance- you need to be sure you have started getting what you need earlier. The most important thing to do is getting your kids back into the routine of getting into bed on time and waking up early. I find this to be the hardest part of back to school. Now that my kids are a little older, they have been sleeping in some so waking up for school every morning can be a rude awakening. I would suggest getting into bed on time at least a few days in advance, more for younger kids! The more you can prepare this, the better!
Have Your Supplies Ready
Be sure you have the necessary supplies needed for each of your kids ready to go. Clothes, lunch boxes, water bottles and classroom supplies are all a must- and not something you want to have to worry about the night before!
I like to start a few weeks in advance shopping for the school supplies I know my kids will need, like crayons, glue, pencils and markers, but also grabbing some of the extra items we will need at home, like more tissues and paper towels. It’s a total win-win with Walmart’s Double Boxtops program too! Each Boxtop collected it the same as 10 cents for your child’s school and those little dimes really do add up!
Boxtops Across America has been helping school get the additional supplies they desperately need since 1996, and it really is such an easy way to help your school buy extra items for gym class, music and the individual classrooms. Obviously we are going to be needing paper products, like Scott Brand Toilet Paper, Viva Paper Towels and Kleenex (and chances are your children’s class could benefit from some of these too!), so when I am at Walmart stocking up, I always an sure to look for and grab the packages that have the special Bonus Boxtops label on them!
Prep the Night Before
As with anything, preparation is key! Lay out what each of your kids will be wearing, have their supplies already in their backpacks and have their lunches packed. The first morning (like most mornings!) is hectic so anything you can have done early, I suggest doing it. Also, don’t forget to add in a little note for each of your kids in their lunches. I love adding in a few words of love and encouragement to remind my kids of how much I love them and how proud I am of them- it can really make their day!
Plan for Needing Extra Time
This is a big one. I like to get my kids up 20 or 30 mins early the first day. Yes, getting up is hard, but it worth having the extra time for kids get ready, eat and relax some before they get on the bus or in the car to be driven to school. You never know what can happen this first morning so having some extra time can be really beneficial. If you have to drive your kids, like me, then you probably already know what a nightmare the parking lot can be, so leaving a little early is a great idea too- plus you need to factor in time for pictures too!
Send Them off with a Full Belly
Obviously this is important EVERY morning, but I like to make something special on the first day- before I resort back to cold cereal like most of the year! Waffles, fresh toast or eggs are all great choices, and will send your kids off to school with full bellies and clear minds.
Don’t Expect Perfection!
This is a great motto for all of parenting, honestly! I really don’t believe perfection is even possible when kids are involved, but for some reason, there are parents out there that still believe that. Whatever cute hairstyles you have planned, elaborate breakfast or designer outfits you were thinking of can be lost in a moments notice when your daughter dramatically changes her mind or if your son spills orange juice all over himself. Just know that no matter what happens, stay clam and carry on as the Brits say. Tomorrow is another chance to do it again!
Well, there you have it. Now the kids are off to school- congratulations! My last step would be to CELEBRATE a job well done for surviving the summer! I’d suggest some downtime, a pedicure and maybe lunch with some friends? They’ll be plenty of time tomorrow to get started on catching up on all of the neglected housework that desperately needs to be done and overdue trips to the gym. Rest now, because you know what awaits you in a few hours- HOMEWORK!
Don’t forget to take advantage of the Double Boxtops only from Walmart too- what a simple way to help your kids school, right?