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25 Tips to Prepare for School

As summer ends, many of us are now thinking about how we can prepare for school. The back to school sales are everywhere and your home will soon be overwhelmed with papers (that you can easily control!) As you prepare for school, find some extra helpful tips here.

25 ways to prepare for back to school

1) Take some time to read with your kids throughout the summer and it will help prepare them.   These six tips will be so helpful to teach you what you need to do to get the most out of your reading time with your kids.

2) Enjoy school shopping with your child and involve them by giving them choices. Our kids love to pick out their own outfits! ¬†(as you can see below – because rain boots go with every outfit, right? haha! ¬†That’s our Allie!)¬†sitting in time out with their baby sister - support systems! )

3) Prepare yourself for early mornings and prepare what you can the night before.  Being ready for a school morning is the best thing that you can do to get your family off to a great start!  It makes a HUGE difference (and cuts back on stress and chaos for the mornings).

4) Celebrate back to school with a party!   My friend hosted a back to school party and it was adorable.  She had water balloons, pizza and gave each of the kids a few school supplies that were adorable (like cute Frozen pencils and a fun Initial notebook!)

5) If you are homeschooling, build up your supplies as you start the new year.   Stock up on pencils, markers, crayons, highlighters and more!

6) When all the busyness of school hits, it is nice to have some planned family time.  Play one of the board games here or do any of these 10-minute activities with your kids.  Our favorite time to play is right after bath time when we are ready for some much-needed family time!

7) Take time to prepare your anxious children for school.  Take a tour of the school, meet the teacher and practicing pick up and drop off are just a few ways to get starting in your preparation.  It will really help your child to know what is going to happen on that first day.

8) Create a homework station for your children.  You could even build a whole desk for under $100 like this one (get the directions here)
homework station 4

9) Heading back to school is always a busy time for teachers, surprise your¬†child’s teacher with a gift¬†as school starts. A mason jar filled with pencils is perfect! ¬†Paint the mason jar a bright shade of apple red to look like an apple! ¬†Or you can make a school supplies cake and fill it with everything that your teacher could need this year.
Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 9.06.24 PM

10) Use¬†this video¬†is my secret weapon to¬†teach the kids their letters in a week! ¬†Seriously awesome (use it in the car… even better!)

11) Start a tot school with the little ones to include them in the fun!  Preschool is a great time to help your kids start learning.

12) Use hooks for each child’s book bag to keep things organized. ¬†I grabbed these little buckets & hooks at Ikea.

homework station 7

13) Mix up the lunches this year and keep it simple.  You can even use something fun like this sandwich cookie cutter to make their lunchbox filled with anything BUT a boring sandwich:

14) Organize your child’s clothes for the entire week. ¬†Pick every outfit out on Sunday afternoon and lay them out or hang them up for the week. ¬† It will get rid of any “I didn’t want to wear that!” type of battles… well, let’s hope so!¬†

15) Start your child’s day out right with a great meal! ¬†These make-ahead frozen¬†breakfast¬†ideas are easy and you can have them ready to go. ¬† A little protein is all that they need¬†.

16) Plan out some easy, healthy¬†after school snacks¬†to fill your kids just enough until dinnertime. ¬† I can remember my mom letting us pick a snack as soon as we came home from school (which reminds me… I can also remember my VERY HEALTHY brother having two powdered doughnuts¬†and sprite every single day after school! ¬†I’m pretty sure he hasn’t had a doughnut in over 20 years, so that is a¬†very funny memory!)

17) Back to school means sicknesses are on their way, find ways to cut down on sickness! ¬†I recently read a study that said that two groups of people were ‚Äėgiven a cold‚Äô. One group slept for 8 hours. The other group had under seven. Which group was more likely to get a respiratory infection? The 7-hour group‚Ķ¬†THREE TIMES HIGHER! ¬† Find more tips like that right here.

18) Remember last year & let it guide you as you prepare for a start fresh with a positive attitude!

19) Start the school routine a weeks before school starts to get yourself and your kids ready! ¬†I love the tip back to school emotions that you don’t expect. ¬†They caught me off guard when our very mature first born started Kindergarten several years ago… and was very nervous and scared to go. ¬† I wish I had prepared for this part a little more.

20) Create a planner to keep all your meal plans, papers and other school materials organized.  I love the ones here (you can buy these to make your own Command Center!)

21) If your child is going to Kindergarten, these back to school items are going to be really helpful for your child!
what to buy before kindergarten

22) The morning of the first day, have a special gift for you child. ¬†It doesn’t have to be fancy. ¬†A great book and crayons or pack of fun pencils might be all that you want to do. ¬† I love to give our kids a book like this before their first day:
the kissing hand

I like this one, too, if you have a child with First Day Jitters: 
Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 9.34.10 PM

23) Have your child take a first day of school picture… with the other siblings. ¬†This is my favorite one from a few years ago (She clearly wasn’t happy about her brothers heading off to school and preschool without her):¬†
Her big brothers are going to school ... and she will miss them!
These photos will serve as such great memories down the road.

24) Try lunch box notes to brighten your child’s day. ¬†If you don’t want to use chalkboard paint on their things, at least stick a little note in each lunchbox. ¬† Here are a few free printable lunch box notes that you can print out to be ready for that first week!

25) Be sure to use your last week before the kids go to school to spend some much-needed one on one time with the kids.   This is how we have one on one time in our house of four kids and it has been really helpful and all of our favorite nights!

Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 9.10.15 AM

What are some tips you find to be useful as you prepare for school?  I would love to hear them! 



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Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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  1. Love this list! My two year old toddlers are starting school in September. It seems crazy young to me but we live in Spain and that’s when they start. (They turn 3 in the first term.) They can hardly talk, I don’t think they know enough to be worried!

  2. Such an astounding list of back to school tips and personally, I like the homework & artwork ideas.

  3. This is so true! I have been working hard to get into the habit of using the time after dinner to tidy up the dishes & leftovers in the kitchen, pack lunches, and allocate papers. It literally takes me less than 30 mins. and I the mornings feel so much less heavy and when I sit down after putting the kids to bed, I can actually enjoy reading, t.v., etc. w/o feeling guilty or depressed!

  4. Thank you for including homeschool tips in this post! This is often overlooked, but I’m glad you included what to prepare for homeschooling, like markers and crayons.