Goodbye Summer, Hello First Day of School

mom jumping for back to school
photo courtesy of Keshia Leeann Gardne via abc.com

Nothing else marks the end of summer like the first day of school. Whether you’re the mom jumping for joy at the bus stop or the one holding back tears, it’s a big day for all of us.

Beth G, a local photographer and mom to three shared this and we know she is not alone:

“I think the beginning of the school year has gotten overwhelming for me. I do take a picture outside on their way out, but traditions for us usually include waking up late rushing to get dressed and make it to the bus on time. My boys are late morning sleepers, so anything that can relieve the stress of the first day is a big help.”

We thought there would be no better way to get ready to go back to school than with some Tips, Traditions and Tricks from other moms. We reached out to some of our readers and looked to a few of our favorite bloggers to see how they get ready for the big day.

Tips

As we try to get back into a routine, we look to other moms for tips to keep things organized and easy when it comes to extra-curricular activities and school supplies.

Misty S, was tired of scrambling to remember and pack for extra curricular activities like dance and gymnastics for her kindergartener. Last year she bought crayon boxes that were on clearance at Target for $0.99. Then she labeled each one with the day and put that the clothes in it. “They are the perfect size for her little outfit changes. On the calendar near the utility room I have listed what she has each day, so if I forget while doing the laundry, it’s right there. But really, not everything gets washed each time, so it just goes back in the box. Each evening while packing her bag I’ll just grab that day’s box or boxes and put them in her bag. At the end of the day, the box goes back in the command center.” 

misty organization

Beth takes advantage of the option to buy the school supply kit through the school.”It saves me a huge amount of time searching out “the right pencil.” Not all schools offer this option, but if they do, “it’s a huge headache reliever with three kids in school.”

“For school supplies, I let the kids pick out favorite colored folders and pictured spirals to give them the extra excitement of going back to school. This year, I used the sale ad at Office Depot for great savings. If you spent $5 in store, you could purchase several items for one cent up to qty of 3. So I purchased folders for .60, packs of pencils for $1, Bic pens for .25, crayons markers .25 to add up to $5. Then for .09 total, we received….3 packs of pink erasers, 3 comp notebooks and 3 bottle of Elmers glue!” – Danica F, local photographer and mom to two.

Danica school supplies
photo courtesy of Flora Danica Photography

Traditions

 

The first day of school can be a scary day for some kids.  The anxiety of new teachers, new classmates, and maybe even a new school can be a lot for a little kid to deal with.  But having a fun tradition to ease the beginning of the day or to end the day are a great way to calm those nerves.

“I’m also an advocate of a back to school brunch! Our school holds a get together when the littles start kindergarten, but I think it’s a great tradition to continue!” – Beth G. {Note: this can be for the littles or the moms!}

“I decorate the breakfast table for the first day of school. Filled with favorite books, a toy school bus, pencils, and chalkboards with their name as placemats. I have an old mini chalkboard I take their photo with each year.” – Danica F.

“I take a picture of them in front of the front door and then at the bus stop.” – Ingrid L, working mom of two.

danica school signphoto courtesy of Flora Danica Photography

We’ve noticed a fun tradition is to decorate the bedroom door for the child to wake up to or the front door to welcome the child back home from the first day. Some balloons, streamers and a good luck note is all it takes. Wen opts for taking her daughter out for ice cream, we both deserve something to mark the first day of school!

Tricks

If packing lunches is anything like meal planning for dinner, you’ll want to check out Mix and Match Mama’s post on Back to School Lunch Ideas. There are some great alternatives to the cold sandwich while keeping lunch healthy and fun.

Kerrie S., has to be at work by 7 a.m., which means prepping most things at night. This year she’s testing out the Omie Life Box for her two kids. OmieBox is an insulated bento box that stores hot and cold food in one box. It has 2 temperature zones so entrées keep warm while veggies and fruits stay cool. It’s a great option for those kids who want a hot lunch from home.

A few other moms mentioned the Yumbox. It’s a lunch box that keeps portions controlled, leakproof, environmentally conscious, and educational. Right now you can grab these at 20% off with code: SUMMER20

 

yum box

 

Jen Hatmaker is an author, HGTV star, wife, and mom to 5 kids is hilarious and on point in her blog. Her post last August was a huge hit and we found her 15 minute trick to be a great one to get us all back in the habit of routine.

“The trick to this zen is simple: fifteen minutes. It’s like magic. If we get up fifteen minutes earlier than the bare minimum requirement, it is the difference between Mom, can I please have some more eggs and KID, IF YOU MISS THE BUS YOU ARE WALKING TO SCHOOL, SO HELP ME MOSES. Fifteen minutes is the cushion that keeps us from rushing, fighting, nagging, and melting down. It is time for a cup of coffee, which has saved my marriage and my children’s lives numerous times. It pads the morning routine with enough extra minutes for kind words, good conversation, a real breakfast, and extra time to find their shoes/homework/backpack/gym shorts/permission slip/jacket without a nervous breakdown. It just keeps us all in a better mood which allows me to send the kids out the door with kisses instead of, say, mild rage. Middle and high school is a plate of Crap Sandwiches half the time, so they don’t need to start their day already feeling berated and shoved out the door.”

We know the first day of school can be emotional and stressful, and we hope you found this post helpful. Thank you to our readers for submitting their Tips, Traditions, and Tricks. Leave us a comment with yours as well.

 

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