Back to the future school time

Ivy says:

School starts here in Tennessee on Friday. Yeah, you read that right. 2 days from now, I’ll be shuffling kids off to school. I can’t decide between being really excited to have my house quiet all day and not have to be fielding questions all day like, “Can I play on your computer?” “Can I play the Wii?” “Can I go outside?” or being sad because I’ll miss the kids, incessant questions and all.

Whether you start in 2 days or whether you still have awhile, now’s the time to start working on their schedules and routines. If you allow a later summer bedtime, start getting it back until they’re on their school bedtimes. Work out your morning routine- think about where your trouble spots were last year and think about how to improve them. One of the things we had trouble with last year was that my 14 year old would hit me in the morning with things like, “You need to sign this, this, and this, and I need a check for this, and can I stay after school today for band practice?” This year the plan is to ask him the minute he walks in what all needs to be signed.

Another thing we’re going to do differently this year is to send lunch to school with my 2 youngest kids. I have kept up with this fairly well in the past, but last year she wanted to buy lunch from the school. This year, since prices have gone up by a third, she’ll be bringing her lunch. I like to look at bento box communities (see LiveJournal and Flickr) for inspiration.

What are your back to school tips and tricks? We all could use them, I think. 🙂



5 Comments

  1. Malia on August 9, 2008 at 10:37 am

    I usually let my daughter buy lunch once a week from the cafeteria. But I may have to re-evaluate once school starts this year. If your meal prices have gone up, I bet ours have too.

  2. Faith on August 6, 2008 at 8:35 pm

    It does all come down to planning. My 15 year old is making my life easier this year – last year he went to two different high schools (about 30 minutes apart) at the same time. One for academics and one for the arts. He got alot out of it, but I had twice as much paperwork to keep track of.
    I set up 2 folders at my desk and put everything he gave me in there. I tried to be super good at asking for notices from his academic school, but often they were handed out in the afternoon when he wasn’t there. Luckily they had an online system that had most of the paperwork there, so I almost always had a backup. The arts school wasn’t as helpful with online access, but they were very good at the beginning of the year giving out all the dates of class trips to plays and dates of their own productions. Since I had to pick him up from his arts school bus, we usually had 10 to 15 minutes in the car to discuss his day – that would also help jog his memory on stuff he needed from me.

  3. Heidi @ Carolina Dreamz on August 6, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    As our heat index climbs to near 116, today, I can’t imagine the idea of school already starting or starting in two days. I’m overwhelmed, for you, just thinking about it.

    I know that my comment is not adding to the conversation, here, but I wanted you to know that I feel for ya.. and I look forward to more home organization ideas that your readers submit..

  4. Mom of three on August 6, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    Schedule, schedule, schedule. I am a scheduling nut.

    I have said before I use Outlook so I have two calendars (you can overlay them to create one view). One is for appointments, like doctors, practices, my work schedule. The other is a housecleaning schedule. I can overlay the two and see that there’s no way I am going to be able to clean bathrooms this week because I have three afternoon practices and two meetings. Instead of beating myself up, I mark bathrooms off my to do list, and try and swish when I am in there this week. LOL

    With two getting ready to go to college soon, we get LOTS of mail. I bought those hard plastic pockets that you see sometimes outside the kid’s classrooms that the teachers put signout papers in. You can get them fairly cheaply at Staples. I hung one for each person right inside the back door. I sort mail as I come in and each person can check their inbox for mail. We also drop our keys in our own box, and the kids keep their Bibles in theirs.

    Luckily mine are older, so most of their books stay in the car. They get out what they need, do homework and put it back in their car. The youngest rides home with me but to school with her siblings, so when her homework is done, she packs her backpack and puts it in the car. The next morning she just has to grab her lunch box and she’s out the door.
    Papers MUST be signed by me in the afternoon. If you bring me a paper in the morning, I won’t sign it and you can explain to the teacher why you don’t have it. It’s hard to be firm about this, but I get morning migraines, and I don’t always function well at 6:30 am. Bring it to me at 3:30 pm and you can go on the trip. Bring it to me at 6:30 am and you are very likely going to be spending that field trip with the principal. It only takes one missed field trip to get the point across.

    Mine started back today. So tonight I have set aside about 2 hours for my homework. I hate all those back to school forms. The kids can swim while I sort through all of them and sign and fill out all the forms.

  5. Melissa on August 6, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    I have started to use either an “in box” for each child, or sometimes just a pee chee type folder. Each day I clean out their backpacks and place things that need to be dealt with in the folder. No more lost spelling lists or permission slips. I do have to be very diligent about asking for them, but so far, so good.

Leave a Comment