Welcome Back to School
Summer has gone by in a flash and we are back to reality in what seems like a blink of an eye and the kids are all heading back to school! So here is the million dollar question… are you silently cheering or super sad to see the kiddos head back?!! No matter the category you fall in, we wanted to share a few of the things we do to ease and welcome our little ones and ourselves back into school for the year!
New School Year, New Scheduler
For years now, Britt has always started a new scheduler when the kids start back in September! She begins by going thru the whole year and lays out any anniversary’s, birthdays and important dates in the planner! She also adds all the kids after school activities and any work appointments. Deb on the other had has always done a fresh start in the New Year, until this year. Starting a new scheduler at the same time as the kids going back just makes sense.
This year we are both using the Passion Planner for our scheduler! Deb has used this in the past and loved it. At the very beginning of this planner, there is a section to plot your goals and the road map you are going to take to get there! After every month, there is an option to reflect on what you have achieved and what you are still working on. It will help you manage your time, stay positive, and get focused!
Having an annual planner helps you look at the bigger picture and stay on track with what you want to do! We both highly recommend starting one if you don’t use one already! There is also something that we both love about still using a good ol' pen and paper planner!
Set a welcome back Budget
One of the most exciting parts of going back to school for most kiddos is getting all the new duds for the year. From running shoes to pencil cases, it feels great to get new stuff! For the parents however, it can make you cringe when you see that credit card bill!
Setting a budget will eliminate that feeling and give you a sense of control in a situation that can get out of control quickly. Deb gives both her kids $300 each for the new school year. That should cover everything from new shoes to your necessary school supplies like headphones and crayons!
A set budget also allows the children to get a better sense of spending money. If they want a more expensive pair of shoes, they may not be able to get all the t-shirts they wanted! Starting this at a young age is a great way to teach your children how to budget their own money.
Easy ‘go to’ school snacks
The dreaded lunches are about to commence! Deb remembers her own mother always hating to pack lunches. Never knowing what to pack and getting so frustrated with the kids when the lunch bags came home and all the ‘good’ stuff was still in it!
So, right from kindergarten, Deb started getting her kids to pack their own lunches. Her motto was, ‘You have two hands and two feet… you can make a sandwich’. The kids come in from the bus, unpack their backpacks and immediately pack lunches for tomorrow.
The lunch rules are as follows; you need a form of protein (muscle food), carbs (energy food) and some good fats (brain food). This allows the kids to get a good sense of the food groups and why each one is important. They have to have some type of fresh fruit and veggies and are allowed to pack one small treat item that can be eaten once all the other stuff is gone.
Britt's grew up in a house where her mom spoiled them with homemade lunches every morning, although Britt isn't quite as sweet as her mother. The routine in her house is that the boys have to assemble their fruits and veggies after supper for school but she will make them fresh wraps in the morning.
The rule for treats in Britt's house is that they can take a treat to school but if the fruits and veggies come home and the treat is gone then they don't get a treat the next day... this way they learn that the treats have to wait.
Starting this routine right from the beginning of school makes it a habit for the kids and also gives them a sense of accomplishment and pride that they pack their own lunches everyday!
Get routine ready
Its no secret that most people operate better when they have a routine in place! Children are no different!! Last year, Deb was having a lot of trouble in the mornings with her kids getting out the door to the bus. It seemed that everyday they were getting later and later and there always seemed to be a fight!
So, together with the kids, they came up with a timed routine for the mornings! She added clocks in a few areas of the house and even decided to put a bit of money on the table! If each child managed to finish all the tasks on the list without a fight and on time, they would get $1 each! If they got a $1 everyday for a week, then they would get the money doubled!
The best part about it was that the kids helped come up with the idea, so they tried even harder to be a part of it and make it work. Take a look below at the schedules that Deb uses for both morning and after school!
7:00 AM Wake Up
7:20 AM Finished getting dressed
Tidy room, Brush teeth, Brush hair
7:35 All Chores Done
Walk Dog, Feed and water bunnies, Water/ feed Cat, Feed/water Dog
7:50 Finished Breakfast and EVERYTHING at the front door
Mitts, Backpack, Lunch packed, Toque, Coat
8:05 Finished Homework
8:07 Get dressed and leave for Bus
- EVERYTHING put away
Coat, Shoes, Backpack
- Agenda out to sign
- Lunches packed
- ALL Homework completed
- Play outside for 30 mins
- Practice your sport or music for 30 mins
- FREE TIME
Feel free to use these templates to come up with your own before and after school routines. Putting this type of program in place at the start of the school year sets up your children for success right out of the gate!
Set Them Up for Back to School Success
Both Brit and Deb feel its important to keep a home organized and decluttered! Not only because it feels great to have a clean home to live in but because it will actually make you and your family more efficient!
If you are always looking for items that haven’t been put back where they should be, then you are going to cut into the time you have. Teaching your children from a very young age the importance of staying tidy and organized will only set them up for success down the road. It isn’t as hard as you may think and they will thank you for it in the long run! Check out our post on how to create a happy home!
We hope you find these back to school tools and methods useful and choose to implement a few of them into your everyday routine with your kids. Anything to make life a little bit easier is a good thing! Do you have any back to school habits or routines you do with your children? We would love to hear them if you do. Please leave us a comment below or send us an email! Welcome back to school friends!