INSIDE: This post is a guest post by Jaime from For Every Mama. After reading this you’ll know exactly how to make going back to school easy and stress-free. From essential sanity-saving tips for parents to easy ways to prepare for the school week, she shows you how to make the back-to-school routine work for you.
I’m excited to be welcoming another guest post to the blog! This time it’s from Jaime over at For Every Mama and she’s sharing with us her top tips for going back to school.
Having worked in a Kindergarten classroom for seven years and now a stay at home mum, Jaime knows exactly what it takes to make the start of a new school year easy and stress-free. And so, whether your child is at infant school or high school, this post has everything you need to make going back to school easier than ever before. Are you ready? Let’s dive in!
Going back to school – essential sanity-saving tips for parents…
A new school year is just around the corner. Adjusting to earlier mornings, full schedules, homework, and activities can be exhausting for the entire family. As a parent and former kindergarten teacher, I’m no stranger to the stress of back to school. My experience has taught me a few tricks to make the beginning of the year a little less daunting. Here are my best going back to school sanity savers for parents to help create stress-free weekdays.
Establish daily routines…
One of the most important going back to school sanity savers for parents is establishing a daily routine. Children thrive with structure, so morning, afternoon, and evening routines are essential to stress-free school days.
When creating a morning routine for your family, ask yourself:
- What time do we need to wake up each morning so we aren’t rushed?
- What can I prep the night before to make the mornings run smoothly?
How to have a successful morning routine:
- Wake up before your kids. Have your morning coffee, devotion, or whatever you like to do for some quiet time. I believe having a few moments of peace before the busyness of the day settles in helps ground and center you.
- Allow enough time for everyone to get ready without being rushed, including eating a healthy breakfast. It is so important for their focus!
- Prep easy meals on Sundays that can be frozen and heated up later for a quick and healthy weekday breakfast.
If the routine you’ve planned out isn’t working, see where changes need to be made and adjust accordingly. Through trial and error, find out what works best for you and your kids, be flexible, and offer grace when needed (to your kids and yourself)!
When creating an after-school routine for your family, ask yourself:
- Do my kids have a better focus on their homework immediately after school or do they need to release some energy through play first?
- Do they need a snack before dinner?
- What time is dinner? Bedtime?
- What needs to be done for a successful day tomorrow?
How to create a successful afternoon/evening routine:
- Have a healthy snack prepared that will hold them until dinner.
- If possible, have them do their homework immediately after their snack to ensure it gets done. If not, let them play for a bit and bring them back to get their work done.
- Either before or after homework, they should be given time to just play, preferably outdoors (they need the exercise after sitting at school most of the day).
- Make sure they are in bed early to get enough sleep. It is so important!
Every family is different, so no routine is going to be the same. A family with a stay at home parent may be able to offer more structure than a family with both parents working outside of the home. If you aren’t available after-school, discuss the schedule with your children’s caregiver and have them implement the routines.
Planning and prepping for the new week…
Planning and prepping ahead of time is key to a successful week. Choose one weekday to write out the menu for the next week, including breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner. Based on the menu, write out your grocery list. I like to keep a note on my phone where I add needed items as I plan, in addition to other items we need to purchase. Choose a different day to do your shopping.
Once you have all the items you need, you can begin to prepare for the week ahead. Sundays are a great day to do some prepping. Just a few hours of work will help the weekdays flow smoothly, and you can involve your kids! Here is my plan of action that I’ve found very successful:
- Wednesdays – meal plan and make a grocery list
- Thursdays – grocery shop for the following week
- Sundays – prepare clothes, meal prep, create my schedule
I love preparing school clothes for the week on Sunday, and I involve my daughter in choosing which outfits she should wear. We check her schedule for the week and decide on appropriate clothing for each day. Because we’ve done this together ahead of time, there is no arguing or last-minute decision making that can add stress to school mornings. Her clothes are in a designated place in her room, so she can get dressed independently.
If your child wears a uniform save yourself time by making sure everything is washed and ironed by Sunday evening. And put their uniform out ready each evening so they’re not spending that precious morning time hunting for their socks and tie!
Sundays are also great for preparing lunches and snacks for the week. Again, I involve my daughter. I let her choose what snack she would like to have on which day, and we place them in a designated spot in the kitchen/refrigerator where they can be easily accessed each morning. She can be in charge of getting her own snack ready every day.
Lunches can be prepared the same way. We look at the school’s lunch calendar and decide which days she needs to pack her own lunch, and what those meals will be. We prep what we can on Sunday, then prep the rest the night before so it’s ready to go the next morning.
You’ve already decided on meals for the week and have your grocery shopping complete, so Sundays can be used for batch cooking. There are tons of recipes on Pinterest for meals that can be prepared ahead of time for a quick breakfast or dinner. Many of these meals can be kept in the fridge for 4-5 days, or even frozen to be used when you are short on time. Batch cooking is an awesome time saver during busy weekdays.
Schedule your week
Sunday’s are also a great time to take a look at your schedule and adjust your routines accordingly. Are there meetings, doctor appointments, activities to work around? Having a plan of action for the week ahead will keep things rolling smoothly. If there is going to be a change, it is best to discuss this with your child ahead of time so they can be prepared too. I have found that an interrupted schedule goes much smoother when my kids know what to expect.
Establishing daily routines, planning and prepping ahead, and scheduling your week will make all the difference in the upcoming school year. Even though school days are long and schedules are full, they do not have to be chaotic.
Going back to school…
There you have it! My top tips for making going back to school easy and stress-free. Put them to good use now, BEFORE school starts and you’ll have your best year yet!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hi, I’m Jaime. Mother of two beautiful kids, and the creator of For Every Mama. I have a degree in elementary education and worked in a Kindergarten classroom for seven years. From full-time educator to full-time stay at home mom, I now use my passions for writing, parenting, and education to share advice, ideas, and encouragement with other moms on our journey through motherhood.
That’s it for this post!
Thank you SO much Jaime for sharing these amazing going back to school tips! I can’t wait to start implementing them. I especially love the idea of prepping lunches and snacks the Sunday before, I’ll definitely be giving that a go! If you want to get back into a routine and be ready for going back to school, make sure you implement Jaime’s tips too!
Did you like this post? Which going back to school tip will you be trying first? Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time…
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