Back to School: A Survival Guide for Parents

Back to School season is upon us! This year I had the chance to spend my whole summer sitting on the front of my porch in my rocking chair watching my kids enjoy their summer. They played hide and seek, played sports, rollerbladed down the street and played at the park. It was wonderful, it was blissful, and I can’t wait for next summer. 

However, I don’t know about you, but I am ready for these kiddos to go back to school! But, as every parent knows, it can be a bit stressful preparing for back to school. Our Back to School guide is here to help you find useful tips to take some stress away and leave you feeling accomplished and ready to tackle the new school year!

Bedtime

Most likely, throughout the Summer, your children’s bedtime schedule changes a bit. We had the occasional days that we slept in and stayed up a little later. However, it is never too late to get your kiddos bedtime routine back on track. According to the National Sleep Foundation, “children who don’t get enough sleep have a higher risk of experiencing behavioral problems at school, as well as a more difficult time with learning.”

To make sure that your kids are successful in school, parents need to re-establish bedtime routines at least two weeks before school starts. Here are some tips to get your kiddos back on a school schedule that will benefit the whole family.

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1. Adjust Bedtimes Slowly. 

Approximately two weeks before the first day of school, adjust your child’s bedtime schedule 15 to 30 minutes earlier at night. The next morning, wake up your child earlier to match the number of minutes you decreased the night before. Continue this method every night until your kiddos are waking up at the same time that will be required when school starts. According to the National Sleep Foundation, “Kids ages six to thirteen typically need nine to eleven hours of shut-eye per night.” You will need to ensure that the bedtime schedule you choose allows for the maximum recommended hours of sleep, so be sure to plan for it!

2. Limit Screen Time  

Try to limit screen time for your children at least an hour before your children’s bedtime. According to the National Sleep Foundation, ” the artificial blue light that is emitted from screens can suppress the body’s release of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin.” This increases alertness and resets your child’s internal clock to a later time. So, reduce those screen times Mommas!

3. Create a Relaxing, Bedtime Routine

One of the things we do as a family is one hour before bedtime I have the kiddos start winding-down and prepping for bed. This means turning off the television, brushing their teeth, flossing, combing their hair, and taking their meds. I then read with my kids, and we say our family prayer. By the time our bedtime routine is done, its time for bed and the kids are tired. I repeat this routine every night a couple of weeks before the first day of school and continue it throughout the school year. Doing this will help your children anticipate sleep time, making it easier for everyone to get back into the swing of things.

School Supplies

Tis’ the season to make a school supplies list and check it twice and once more to make sure! Before sending your kiddos back to school, using a checklist as a guide to make sure your children are prepared for school is one of the smartest things you can do.

For a stress-free preparation back to school, I have already created the printable checklists featured above for you. You can DOWNLOAD it and bring it with you to the store or better yet, order everything  — easy peasy lemon squeezy!

My favorite school supplies brand is hands down Crayola. Since I was a kid, we always had Crayola products at home and for school. Now, as an adult with my kids, I still buy Crayola. Not only do they offer new, innovative, and creative products for kids to use, but they take the stress out of school supply shopping. You can shop for school supplies by collecting bundles that Crayola has created for your child’s specific age and grade. You can find everything on your supplies check-list HERE.

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Lunch and Snack Ideas

Back to School season means that we are now busier than ever. As parents, we need to make sure that our kiddos are eating healthy and snacking between meals. It is essential to fuel your children’s bodies and brains, and make sure children have a satisfied tummy to complete homework, fuel them after sports and hold them over until dinner. Here are some tips to help you ensure that you are and your family starts the school year off on the right note.

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1. Prepare the Night Before.

To avoid the morning rush – try to prepare your child’s lunch the evening before. You can put lunches in the fridge in containers or Ziploc bags for easy packing in the morning. You can also put non-perishable items, such as chips, some fruits and juice boxes in their lunch bag as well. Then in the morning, all your child has to do is grab their lunch and go.

2. Make it a Family Affair.

When you are making everyone’s lunches every night, this can become overwhelming. So why not make it a family affair and include everyone? Give your kiddos a sense of responsibility by giving them the small task of getting lunches ready. You can also use this as a learning experience, and you can teach your children what food groups a healthy lunch should contain.

3. Have Healthy Options Readily Available.

It is so important to have healthy, natural, and delicious snacks available for your children. So I rely on Smart Box Company to provide me with a super easy and quick solution to providing my family with nutritious and quality treats right to my door.

SmartBox offers a variety of snacking options; I can fuel my kid’s bodies and brains. And make sure my kiddos have a satisfied tummy to complete homework, fuel them after sports and hold them over until dinner! You can order your box HERE and if you use code SAILOR20, you can get a 20% discount courtesy of Smart Box Company.

Organization

Making sure that you are organized will keep you and your family on track this year. It is crucial to start preparing early to ensure that you are ready for the responsibility the new school year will bring. Here are some back to school organization tips to keep you on your toes!

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1. Planner Organization

One of the things that have worked well for me is color-coding my planner to see what I have going with my family easily. I use my Take Note! Felt-Tip Pens and highlighters to easily see the different categories of tasks and appointments that I have going on with my family. Color coding is useful not only for organization, but it is so fun to do! Having a visually attractive setup in your planner also helps you have something to look forward every day and using my Take Note! Products also help with memory retention, so no more forgetting about important days.

2. Create a “Learning” Space

Having a set time to focus on academics is vital for your children and keeping them organized. However, having a space in which to do it in is also essential. Decide before the school year starting where your children will be doing their homework. My children have a dedicated space in the basement where all of their homework is to be done. My area is equipped with all the writing tools they need, supplies, and a printer. Having a space solely for academics has improved their focus greatly and keeps them organized.

3. Clean and Declutter

In addition to creating organized spaces for homework, both kids and parents need to start the school year off with a clean and organized home. Before school starts, my kiddos get their supplies, backpacks, sports bags, and room in order. I also purge all clothing that no longer fits my kids and make a checklist of supplies that I need to replenish at home. I also create a space dedicated to all the backpacks, sports bags, and school shoes. You can also purchase organization bins or label containers for an easy school-related organization.

We hope these tips will aid you and your kids as you prepare for the upcoming school year. If you have any other tips that you use to help survive back to school season, please feel free to share them with us!

11 comments on “Back to School: A Survival Guide for Parents

  1. Organization can be a challenge for me. But, I know that when it’s done, it will make life a whole lot easier! I especially liked your suggestion for snacks. I’ll have to check SmartBox out!

  2. My kids aren’t old enough for school yet and when they are the school year here starts in March anyway, but I think these are some great tips, some of them, like bedtime, I can even use now!

  3. We are already starting the transition to back to school, as far as getting into a better sleep routine and less electronics, and more of reading and practicing instruments. September is going to be so busy! It can be a tough adjustment.

  4. We are just getting into (pre)school and I am not looking forward to having such a rigid routine but I do think it’s good for kids to have one, so I’m sure it will end up being good for all of us!

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