Oh how I love the school year, for obvious reasons of course, but this year will be a bittersweet year for us. Truett is in the first grade and Toby, a Senior. OMYCOW! I just can’t believe it. Our Summer was short and totally not fun. We didn’t get to do much this time and it felt like it flew by. And now, we’re headed back to school and it’s time get back to the ol’ routine, just like we do every year.
I am very much a planner so routines are what keep me sane. There are MANY things we do prep for the school year. Here are 3 things we do to prepare for our school year routine:
1) About 2 weeks before school, we go through the boy’s clothing. We trash what needs trashed and donate the rest, keeping only a few shirts that can get dirty or messed up. We usually get rid of all the socks because by the time a year rolls around, most of them are pretty gross. That goes for underwear too. My dad placed importance on clothing. He always thought it was money well spent and that everyone should look the best they can. And clothing never has to cost a lot!
2) Before we shop for school supplies, we go through our entire house and look for any unused or ‘like new’ supplies. You’d be surprised by what you’ll find when it comes to that type of stuff! It can also save you lots of money! Once we find them all, we sort them out and see what needs to be added to our school supplies shopping list.
3) Usually about a week before school, we apply the school year bedtime hours. While we don’t force them to wake up as early as they would for school, we find that going to bed at a set time, gives them plenty of rest and they end up waking up early on their own. This is very important to us because our kids have a lengthy drive to school and because they get home so late. We want them to be well rested for the day’s tasks and adventures.
Three important parts of our routine (and probably most anyone’s), is morning, after school, and bedtime.
- Morning – First, the night before, we set out clothes for the following day. Then, it’s breakfast. He has to eat something here or at school. We don’t allow any TV in the morning while getting ready. It can make things more difficult. In fact, we encourage him to read one of his books to us in the morning or even play outside for a few minutes to get his senses woken up. Before he can play or read or whatever, he has to make sure his folder is signed, homework in place, and backpack ready to go.
- After School – I realize that most parents want their kids to do homework first but in all honestly, they’ve been at school for 8 hours so I try to let Truett come home and play. He gets a snack, plays a while, even watches a little TV and then afterwards, we do homework. I feel like it just gives his mind a break from the day and he’s more inclined to sit down and do it after some ‘fun time’. For us, right before dinner is perfect. While I’m cooking, Truett will sit at the bar and work on his homework. I can be right there to help and we get it all done before the evening sets in.
- Bedtime – 30 minutes before bedtime, we settle down, bathe, take our daily vitamin, brush teeth, read a book, and go to bed. Truett loves his Goodnight God book and literally memorized the book before he learned to read. We also read Hot Wheels phonics books and some of my favorites, “I Love you Stinky Face”. It’s a great time to bond. I am very strict about the time when it comes to bed. I don’t believe in the whole getting up for a glass of water, calling my name until I come back in the room, etc….When I say bedtime is 8:30, I mean it, and he knows it. I never get lip about it either. It’s a routine I’ve placed there years ago with all my kids and it works well for us.
Don’t forget their vitamins and bedtime story!
Finally, meal planning is important if they’ll be taking their own lunch to school. I shared my own lunchbox ideas with you but if you need more, check out the Lunchbox Recipe Swap on Walmart.com. There are lots of ideas there too and you can submit your own to help others. I am definitely not a good meal planner so this is something I’ll be working on. I’d love your ideas and any other back to school routine tips you might have!
Here’s to a new school year!