I’m a “Summer Mom” through and through. I absolutely love late nights, sleeping in, going on adventures, and playing with my kids. I start my summer countdown when we get back from Christmas break! The picture above shows how we feel about summer. But… I have to admit, my OCD twitches when the store aisles fill with school supplies. I tackle my school supply shopping early on, and then I start working on things that will make our transition both fun and seamless. I have some specific routines that really help us stay organized and on top of our schoolwork.
Morning & Afternoon Routines
We pick out our clothes for the week on Sunday and place them in labeled closet organizers. It really helps streamline busy mornings—especially when Mom is not a morning person. Over the years, we’ve developed our own set of morning rules which include no electronics before school and no early risers before a certain time. Afternoons are even more hectic for us with football practice 3 nights a week, so we follow another routine to get unpacked and prepared for the next day. For younger children, it definitely helps to have a chart to refer to. Try a free printable here, here, or here. We will go over the routines before school starts to make sure they understand the expectations.
We pack lunch every day, and we use reusable containers. I have a cabinet dedicated to our lunch supplies. This way, I’m not digging around trying to find the appropriate container or wondering where a lunchbox is.
Yes, I admit to cutting my kids’ sandwiches into ridiculous shapes. I also love to sprinkle a little extra love in my kids’ lunches by adding notes. After lots of pinning on Pinterest, I saved my favorite notes to a flash drive which I took to The UPS store and had printed up. I felt brilliant for not wasting my own ink and paper, and I have enough lunch notes for our first half of the school year.
Three kids coming home from the first day of school is like “a tornado in a trailer park,” as Mater would say. There are backpacks, papers, snack containers, trash, jackets, and lunchboxes flying everywhere. The key is having a home for those things that doesn’t include the top of your dining table.
It took awhile to figure it out in our rental home, but now my kids know exactly where everything goes—hooks for the coats, hooks for the backpacks, cubbies for the homework, lunchbox cabinet for the lunchbox, etc.
I am a very visual person so my command center is like a dramatic art display. However, you can make one using something as simple as a binder or accordion file. A calendar is key, and I recommend color coding by assigning a color for each family member. I can see at a glance what each child has going on each day. In addition to the calendar, each child has an area for their own paperwork like classroom newsletters. This can be a file folder or, in my case, a magnet board.
Don’t forget the FUN! We like to make a big fuss with the first day of school. Go ahead and print out some signs for cute back to school photos. Sneak a cupcake into their lunch. Wear your favorite outfit to drop them off and then get yourself a Frappuccino. You’ve just gone from “Summer Mom” to “Room Mom.”
What are your favorite routines to prepare for a stress-free school year? I would love to hear some ideas- Comment below!