Back to school organizing...let's start a thread
We got out in mid-June and are going back on Aug. 22nd. A very short summer for us and I'll only have a week after my mom is here before the kids are back in school.
I don't have any major tips but here's what I do. I learned the hard way to buy really good quality backpacks. No cartoon characters. Same for lunch bags. Checked these out and they are good for another year.
I'm slowly washing all of the winter outdoor gear and making a note of who needs gloves, hats, gaitors, ski goggles, snowbibs and boots. With all of these items I've learned that my kids take better care of them if I don't have a ton. I buy one good pair of gloves and put the older ratty pair away in case theirs are wet and we are going our for the evening. It seems like the families who have a dozen gloves send the message for the kids not to hang onto them...and they don't. Learned that the hard way, too.
We register for school during the second week of August. The school is requesting proof residence (about time) so I noted on my calendar to bring a utility bill to registration. I also purchased Flylady's calendar this year since it starts in August. I usually buy More Times Moms calendar, but it doesn't start until Sept. I printed off the school calendar from the district web site and wrote the dates for the entire school year on the calendar and pitched the paper. We do the same once we get the Scouts schedule, etc.
We don't buy new school clothes in one swoop, so that's not a problem and everyone will just wear their summer stuff as school starts. Then we'll check on the jean situation and see if anyone had a big growth spurt. Since I am able to keep up well with the laundry, I keep track of who needs underwear and socks.
I've learned to buy double or triple of some of the school supplies and I put them away. They always need pencils, glue and paper throughout the year. Other items seem to last. While the supplies are always available in stores, it's just much easier for me to have them tucked away so when that note comes home I don't have to make a trip somewhere.
I have a cabinet set up for lunch prep. When I buy things like cookies, if I go ahead and put them all in portions in bags, we don't end up snacking on them and we stay out of the stuff. I keep most of it on a tray, so I can just pull it out and we can get the lunches put together quickly. I also keep on spare lunch bag in case someone forgets to bring theirs home. My kids are good about bringing them home, but occasionally someone forgets. School lunches are awful, but we keep a monthly school menu taped to the inside of the cabinet door so the can check and see if there is something they like.
Launch pad in the entry area has been wonderful. Everything ready to go the night before. All of my kids have alarm clocks from the time they start school. This night-owl mom has morning kids so they are usually up before it rings, but it's an independence habit I like to establish early. They each have a daily list next to their light switch for their daily jobs. That works well and they know they can't go out and play until the stuff is done. We have it divided up between before school and after school.
Extra timers are a useful gadget. My 12 yo has been setting one for a couple of years to pace himself on getting his homework completed. I have a 9 yo who hasn't had much homework yet, but I know this year will be different so we'll need to get her in the habit of using one.
Unless someone has a major growth spurt in the next month, I think we are pretty well set. Anyone have any tips which work well with their family?