Getting Ready For Back To School

>> Monday, August 24, 2009

Photo by Brandi Tressler

It's that time of year again. I have to be honest, I don't look forward to back to school. I really love having my kids home with me, sleeping in, enjoying snuggles in the mornings and fun activities. The kids however (mostly) are starting to look forward to it. I think they are ready to get back into a routine and part of me is too, I'll be honest, I have some things I need to accomplish. I think they are ready to get back and see their friends, see what their new teachers are going to be like, and of course they are excited about the new school supplies, clothes and shoes. Who can blame them there? :)

So in order to get things organized here at home for school I have a few things I do and I thought I would share them with you today.

First thing is I setup is a school binder. This gives me a place to put all the things they bring home that I need to keep track of, such as lunch menus, calendars for the month, classroom newsletters, ect. This way when I need to find out what is for lunch or if the kids really have that day off school I know exactly where to look. Mornings are hectic enough without a frantic search for papers put who knows where.

In my notebook I have a few sleeved page protectors. That is where I put things I print off to use during the school year. Our schools are peanut-free, so every year I make some Avery labels that say "peanut-free snacks". This way when I make a homemade treat for my kids the teachers will know that it is peanut free and will allow them to eat it. I also print out some Avery labels that have my children's names, teacher's names and classroom number on them. I use these for things like book orders, field trip money, anything that I need to put in an envelope.
For my daughter I like to print or make some little lunch box notes and slide them in one of the page protectors. My son is now embarrassed by those little notes so I don't torture him with them anymore.

I've also found a few things online that I like to print a few sheets off and have ready to use.
The first one is a School Note from Family Education. This is a note you can fill out for absences, dismissals, & permission to go with. I could write a note easy enough but I like how neat this form makes it all. The form now is in .pdf format, when I first got the form a few years ago it was in .jpg format. I'm going to go ahead and share it with you since I've shown you the source.

(Click to save to your computer and print)

I find it very easy to print out with the Windows Printing Wizard. I print out 2 to a sheet, using the 13x18 cm size. You'll want to take a look around the Family Education site, they have a lot of really great articles & printables. Even more great things for Back To School as well.

Another thing I like to print off (for the younger kids) are some Notes from Mom. These are found on the abcTeach site. There are tons of great printable resources there that are free. Great for practicing new skills at home & for the little ones that don't get to go to school yet. You can print some things off and they can have "school" with mom for a little bit.

So that's the notebook, what about all those other things kids need? Well, for our elementary school we just pay a fee and they provide all the school supplies. For my daughter all I pick up is an extra 2 pocket folder of her choice, so that she has a place to put homework, notices from school. My son's middle school provides a list of what supplies he will need at the end of each school year. I know that some stores also provide a list of what you school requires for school supplies too.

For clothes - I do not buy them a whole new wardrobe for school. The first thing we do is go through all the clothes they have now. We see what still fits and is in good condition to be worn to school. Then I add in as needed. They always get at least one brand new complete outfit (pants/shirt or dress or whatever they want to wear for the first day back - that's half the fun of going back to school). Then of course they will get brand new socks, underwear, sneakers and backpacks. I've discovered over the years that spending the extra money and buying sneakers that cost a bit more initially saves me money in the end. We were getting sneakers from your typical retail store (Wal-mart, Zellers) and about 2 months later we were having to replace them. So better to just go for the better quality stuff to start with.

So that's pretty much how I get ready for back to school. Have any questions or want to know more about anything I do? What are some things that you do to make sure that you and your children transition smoothly back to school?

More Back to School Resources for Parents:


radmama August 24, 2009 at 3:31 PM  

These are some good tips!

I really need a school binder this year- we usually use a few hanging files but they end up an abandoned mess by October.

One thing we do is buy our backpacks at MEC. They have some excellent, stylish ones for a reasonable cost (I think I just ordered our first new one in 5 years today for 25 bucks) last for years and wash well, meaning a big cost savings.

Krista August 24, 2009 at 4:58 PM  

radmama - I've tried those files that sit on the desk, magnets on the fridge. I still lose things. :/ The binder seems to work the best for me.

Where is MEC? I'm thinking that's where we need to get backpacks. They cost close to 20 dollars in the store for the not so great ones. Might as well spend 5 more for a good one. Especially for my middle-schooler, who is beyond the themed backpacks.

radmama August 26, 2009 at 10:16 AM  

In the city or mailorder- they take Interac! I love them- they last very very well - we still use the kids older, smaller ones for diaper bags, soccer bags etc.

We had the Rundle packs and one kid is moving up to the Socrates

radmama August 26, 2009 at 10:18 AM  

A big strong magnet on the fridge holds our school newsletter and menu. that works okay, but the other crap gets lost.

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