By now most kids have headed back to school in some form or fashion in this area. If your house is like my house, it has thrown it into chaos. My kids spent all of the last school year virtual and at home, but this year, they are back in person. So, we have really had to adjust to start times, homework, car rider lines, and so much more. I forgot how exhausting it all is for kids and parents. I have been trying hard to make things go as smoothly as possible with a few simple procedures. They work for my house and maybe can help you out or, if they do not work, maybe they will inspire you to find what does work. Here are a few back to school tips and tricks help me from losing my mind and keep things running a little bit smoother (well, as smooth as they can with all that is going on around us).
I love to prep breakfast for days at a time. My daughter loves these chocolate protein muffins. I make a batch and keep a few out fresh and freeze the rest. Then each day, I can defrost them in the microwave and, bam, she has a protein rich breakfast in less than a minute. My husband and I love egg cups. I make a batch up and it will feed us a few days at least. I tend to prep these on the weekend or while dinner is cooking during the week. I am already in the kitchen and the oven is normally already on as well. This is a big help at our house because to be honest I hate mornings and can’t function enough to make breakfast every day.
Lunches are packed at our house. Sadly, even with free lunches this school year in public schools, mine will not touch them. I like to prepackage any items I can on Sunday nights. For example, mine love chocolate chips as a dessert, so a small amount of those goes in baggies for the whole week at one time. Then, I can easily throw them in the lunch boxes. Any other item I also can prepackage, I do, and it all goes in one basket on the top of my fridge. If I cannot do it ahead of time, I tend to store the other parts together like Lunchables, yogurts, etc. to make it easy to grab and go. Water bottles get refilled and stored in fridge the night before, so they are ready to go for the next day.
I pick up my kids from school daily now and they are currently dismissed at the same time. This is nice, since it has been years since that has happened. So, we all arrive at home at the same time – them from school and me from work. I like to take care of emptying lunchboxes, asking for any papers to be signed, homework out to start being worked on, and computers put on the chargers before anything else is done. So, all the backpack stuff is all done! Then, we all have a snack and then work on studying or homework, before they are allowed to do iPads or anything else. This helps me so much – to knock it out all at once and before moving on to anything else.
The last of my little back to school tips is to help you out with all of the emails, emails, and emails! Our schools love to send emails to parents and I love being so well informed. However, it can be overwhelming to have them all in my inbox. I create a folder in my inbox for the current school year, and inside that folder are three folders. One folder is for general information, one is for my daughter, and one is for my son. This allows me to move the emails to the appropriate folder and I don’t lose it in the mess of the rest of my inbox. If you use a program like Outlook, you can even set up a rule to do this automatically. Organizing emails like this is very helpful when you need to find an email to re-read about an event happening at one of the schools.
Hope these are some helpful back to school tips from a mom in the trenches. Let’s all be kind to one another during another school year of uncertainty. We are all in this together! Happy school year moms!!