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10 Back to School Tips for Moms

9:56 AM

When it comes to the kids going back to school, it often becomes a hectic mess of schedule changes and you sit there wondering how you managed to do it the year before. Getting used to the kids going back to school and getting them used to the routine again can be difficult, but hopefully, with this list of mine, it can make it a little bit easier on everyone. (Especially you!)

I've devised tips over the past few years to make my life a little less chaotic and a little more organized. With my daughter going into the 3rd grade this year, I've had a few years already to tweak my plans and still have more to do, but this is what works for me so far.

Simplify Housework
It all starts with you. Simplifying our daily housework can make it a lot easier as a whole. Set aside a couple of days during the week to get your laundry done and stick with it. Let your family know the days it will get done. I try to get all of my laundry done by Friday so I have the weekend free and clear. Therefore, I strive to do my laundry on Tuesdays and Fridays. Set aside one day during the week that is most convenient for you to dust and thoroughly clean. Try to stay away from weekends unless you have to. Doing your cleaning in one day will allow more time in the other days...you know, you time! Besides daily sweeping, spot cleaning and bathroom detailing, everything should be done on that chosen day.

Delegate Chores
Really need to clean that microwave? How about getting rid of that pile of magazines you've collected? With the small stuff, it's okay to share. Besides, the older the kids, the more they can do so why not put them to work? I give my daughter the daily task of helping me out with one thing around the house. She doesn't know what it is until I ask her to do it and sometimes I don't have anything for her to do, but letting them know they are responsible for something nixes the fight they put up to refuse.

Not everything you reward your kids for should have a monetary value. So they picked up their socks in their room and helped take out the trash? That doesn't mean you have to give them five bucks. Find what interests them and work with it. Most times, my daughter is happy with going to the park and playing on the playground. I find it obviously gets harder to figure out incentives when kids get older since they have higher expectations and interests, but the overall thought process is the same. If you do end up giving an allowance, make sure you sit with your kids to find a reasonable amount.

To-Do Lists
In the morning it's tough to make sure one has brushed their teeth and the other one has matching socks. Making a to-do list for your kid(s) will help you in the long run. It lets children know what they need to get done and makes the morning run smoother. This is especially great for younger kids because they feel empowered and more adult. My daughter gets so proud of herself when she finishes her tasks.

Plan Lunches and Snacks
Kids are more willing to eat their lunches when it's something they really like. That's a "duh", but letting them help you figure out what to have for lunch makes it more fun. I recently saw something on Facebook from Parents.com. It was a checklist of items by category for each child to choose from. This enabled them to create their own lunch menu for each day that was healthy and saved mom some time. If this isn't something you want to try, setting snacks in bags ahead of time works great, too!

Plan Outfits
I normally don't pick out clothes for the week because I like see what the weather is like for that day. I've tried it a few times and always had to alter an outfit for rain or snow, etc. If this is something that works for you, stick with it. I find that picking out the next day's clothes the night before saves plenty of time and prevents  those "I don't want to wear that" arguments just the same.

Gym Days
I don't know how your child's school operates gym days and obviously, as children get older, they have to change during school for gym, but luckily my daughter doesn't have to do that yet so I take full advantage of it. I use gym day as a lazy day. It's the one day out of the week where she has no choice but to wear sweats and sneakers so throw that hair in a pony and call it a day. Of course I don't mean to send your kid to school looking like an unmade bed, but knowing you don't have to put that little bit of extra effort into it makes a big difference...at least to me.

Regular Bedtimes
This one is major. You could do every step on this list, but having to deal with a cranky child undoes it all. My daughter gets about 10 hours of sleep a night. Sleep is important for young children and everyone in general. Setting a specific time to go to bed each night allows for an easier morning, a more alert child in school and even better grades. It takes some getting used to, but this is where the incentives can come in. Tell them that they don't have a choice but to go to bed, but on the weekend, they could stay up a little later. It works for me at least.

Homework Time-Dinner Time
One of the best ways to multi-task each day is to have your children do their homework while you make dinner. My daughter is pretty self sufficient, but sometimes needs a little bit of help. Since she does her homework in the kitchen, cooking dinner while she does it, saves time. Just think of it as you being 2 steps closer from calling it a day. Usually by this time I'm exhausted. I think you know what I mean. ;)

Reading Time-Shower Time
I don't know about your child's school, but my daughter is required to read for a certain amount of time each night and then record it on a reading log. I think this is a great idea and have used it to my advantage. I use this time to take a shower. Since she's reading, there's no knocks at the door, questions that don't really need an answer...nothing! Just some mommy time in the shower and some peace and quiet. By the time I'm done, she's done reading and everyone can relax as a family for the rest of the night.

Thanks for joining me today. I hope some of these tips can help you. Do you have something to share? I'd love to hear it. I'm always open to suggestions. :)

Interested in more back-to-school stuff? Check out my latest Parade.com post!

Looking for ways to organize your school year? Here's links to my free back-to-school printables!
Free Back-To-School Printable Pack

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  1. Good tips! I'm a big proponent of to-do lists, pre-planned lunches and regular bedtimes, too. They help make sure we have the same expectations and stay on track for the day. :)

    1. Thank you for visiting. They definitely do help! :)

  2. Those are great tips! I obviously don't have kids, but a few of my friends have younger school age children so I will definitely share these tips with them! Thank you Kate, and thanks for linking up at the Merry Monday Link Party! See you next week!

  3. Good list! I'm in the same mind-set over here and in the past couple of days have been pulling the kids out of bed earlier so we can get back on schedule and making a list of lunchbox ideas and rethinking the routines a little bit.

    I am co-hosting the #HomeMattersParty link party this month and would love to have you stop by for a visit. The door is open for the current party through Monday night. http://alaynascreations.co/2015/08/21/home-matters-liny-party-51/

  4. These are all great tips. We are trying to get back on a sleep schedule since we have been all over the place this summer. I need to start thinking about lunch options and my goal this year is to have lunched packed the night before. I hate running around in the morning trying to throw things together! Thanks for the extra motivation.


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