Back To School Survival

Back to school times means earlier bedtimes, bright and early mornings, packing lunches (again), buying school supplies, doing homework and surviving the school drop-off and pick-up line. (People, the right lane is for drop off and the left lane is more moving traffic!)

To help you survive back to school season and look like a pro with cute little lunch box notes, first day of school chalk board photos and so much more….I’ve rounded up the best content on the web as your go-to resource for handling back to school season like a BOSS.

Back to School Morning Routines and Breakfast IdeasRoutines and Healthy Breakfasts for Survival 101

Back to School Preparation 

Taking the Perfect First Day of School Picture

The Perfect First Day of School Photo

Back to School Lunch Ideas and Tips

Packing Lunches & Inspiring Printable Lunch Notes

Back to School Preparation 

Back to School Tips and Tricks

The Very Best Back to School on a Budget Tips

Staying Organized, Healthy & On Budget

More Back To School Tips

To avoid the crumpled up papers at the bottom of the backpack or the rotten apple in the lunch box, I have some tips to help you stay organized this school year. No more forgotten papers that need to be signed or lunchboxes that are growing mold. Oh no! With some simple tips, you will stay on top of it or rather your child will!

Setting a Back to School Budget and Routine

Set a Back to School Budget

Let your child choose their supplies, backpack, lunchbox and school clothes. When they care about the possessions and had to choose them with limited funds that made them make choices of this over that, they’re more likely to take care of the items. They also realize that if the items aren’t taken care of, they have to use their allowance or chore money to buy new ones. More on this later but we use Current.com to help our children with financial responsibility. (Use greenandcleanmom for 3 months free if you sign-up.)

Create an Afterschool Routine with Expectations & Natural Consequences

Set a routine for after school with expectations for your child. We use the Circle with Disney to control the Internet and on/off times. No Internet during school times and 30 minutes after they get off the bus. This provides them with plenty of time to complete the after school expectations. Here is an example.

Until the following is completed, there is no snack, TV time or INTERNET:

  1. Get off the bus, empty your lunch box and wipe it out.
  2. Put papers to sign on the kitchen counter for mom or dad to sign. Homework that needs to be looked at or notes from the teacher all go on the kitchen counter.  (DECIDED ON A DESIGNATED SPOT IN YOUR HOME)
  3. Take homework out of your backpack and put it on the kitchen table.
  4. Do any chores listed.

Back to School Lunches

  • The expectations are set and if they’re met, they can have a snack and Internet.
  • Homework time is after dinner but if there is homework on the kitchen table, I know that is where they need to be after dinner and I can shut down the Internet and turn off the television.
  • When I see that the lunch box is on the kitchen counter, I know it’s been emptied and wiped out. Before bed, lunches are packed and put in the fridge for the morning.  If the lunch box is not on the counter and ready to pack, they eat hot lunch the next day. Not something they choose so they are good about not forgetting to clean out the lunch box!
  • No papers on the kitchen counter, there is nothing to look at or sign. I do not remind them to check their backpacks; I do not look in their backpack. I let there be natural consequences. They miss an after school event because I didn’t know about it and they did not put the note on the counter for me to read. They learn quickly to not forget important stuff.

With older children, this works for us. School in our home is the job of our children. They are responsible for their stuff, homework, papers and packing their lunches. Of course, we supervise and offer gentle reminders. The goal is to teach them responsibility and ownership of their possessions and pride in completing tasks, making good financial decisions and doing well in school.

Time Saving Tips

I saw a bank that said “24 Hour Banking,” but I don’t have that much time.
– Steven Wright

Over at the Horizon Milk Community we had a live discussion about time-saving strategies and how to not pull our hair out in the morning and go crazy during the school year. It gets hectic and face it there are only 24 hours in a day! Here are some links and time saving tips gathered from the live chat that might make your life easier:

  • Real Simple shares 20 time saving tips and tricks which I’m sure will help you!
  • Zen Habits recommends doing less but offers other essential time saving ideas for busy people.
  • Busy Moms will want to check out iVillage and their 13 time saving tips!
  • How about some time management tools like Cozi? Dumb Little Man has a great write up on 15 different tools that might help you.

This makes me laugh from Bripblap.com:

 “If you have two frogs, eat the ugliest one first.”

Eating a frog is an analogy of doing your most important tasks first thing you wake up. Brian Tracy got it from the saying: If the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long! By doing your most important task first you will less likely procrastinate on the other tasks later in the day. By getting the biggest task done first you also set the tone for the rest of the day for getting work done.


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