Back to School Survival

Back to School Survival

August hits and panic ensues. School is right around the corner.

What happened over the summer? Old routines have disappeared. The kids' bedtimes are all over the place. Nightly routines have gone out the window. All that summer schoolwork didn't happen. Now what?

Though August is kind of like the Sunday of Summer, it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. I always feel overwhelmed in August, so I try to make the start of the school year as easy on all of us as possible. But I also try to continue to have fun and enjoy what’s left of summer.

Preventing Summer Slide

For my kids I found a few fun ways to review those skills. First off, I made each girl a reading challenge chart. When they complete their chart, they get to pick a one-on-one date with the parent of their choosing. I created the challenge around their grade and ability levels. It has been fun and my kids are not only reading more but reading to each other and the guinea pig.

I also bought a subscription to an online program for a few months. I am not ashamed. The kids love it and they are reviewing. I usually try to fit it in after breakfast or in the afternoon when it is hot and they need a break from playing in the sun. I just set timers for them and each girl does her 20-30 minutes. That gives me time to review flashcards or work on reading with another kid. I spend a little one on one time with each kid about 3-4 times a week. Keep it fun and short.

Back to School Supply Shopping

stack of books on a desk with apple on top; several colored pencils also on desk; classroom setting

If you have a local company that will gather all the supplies for you and send them to your school, do that. If not, I suggest using an app like Walmart, Target, or another local store with a delivery or pickup option.

I simply sat on my couch with the list from the school and typed in each item. I compared prices and products and added them to my cart. I also buy extra so I have replacements of crayons and markers on hand for when that teacher email comes halfway through the year that they are out.

Then, I ordered and picked them up the next day. If I go to the store in person, I waste a ton of time and money on items that we don’t need.

I sat down one evening after bedtime and organized the supplies into each kids’ pile and packed it away for parent night.

Homework Preparation

Each of my kids has their own pencil box at home with their name on it. It's filled with scissors, glue, already sharpened pencils, erasers, crayons, highlighters and markers. Then, I have a bin for each kid that has a notebook, dry erase board and markers, flashcards, etc. All set for the fall.

When we get home from school and it is time for homework, each kid gets their bin and sits at the table. I help where and when I need to. But they can do a lot on their own. No wasting time looking for supplies. No arguing over whose crayon it is. I don’t want homework to be the main focus of our evenings at home or something they dread. So, the more streamline the process, the better.

Bedtime Routines

At least a week before school starts get the kids back on their routine. Sometimes, I ease them back in for two weeks. Slowly get back to that same bedtime and wake time. My kids get up at 6 am and that can be a challenge when they have been sleeping in until 8 or later all summer. Since it is still light out, playing your sound machine from the Althea Collection will help settle them to sleep.

I also have a checklist for each kid to help them to remember what they need to do for bedtime. It allows them to not have mom nagging at them and gives them some responsibility. Of course, I check to make sure everything is done, but it makes for a smoother bedtime.

Planning Morning Routines

back of school bus in driving away; green trees and blue skies in the background

Clothes are picked out on Sunday for the whole week. Everyone knows what they are wearing in the morning. My 7-year-old is working on taking responsibility for packing her items. She has checklists for her gymnastics bag and next year she will completely take over her bookbag as well. Independence comes a little at a time, with support.

Bags are packed the night before, except for the water bottle and lunch box, which I put in before I leave for work.

When it comes to getting out the door, everything is in one place. I have this area set up inside my front door with a bench, bins, and hooks for bookbags, activity bags, your Alex & Thea Diaper bag and coats. I have a small charging station for their school iPads there as well. I have bins by the door that have their school socks and shoes in. When they come home in the afternoon, school shoes go back in the bin for morning.

These little tips and tricks can just make life easier.

Continue to Enjoy Summer

Still go to the pool or the beach. Play in the sprinkler. Snuggle up and have a movie night with popcorn. Go to an outdoor movie. Go for a hike. Explore a local playground. With your Alex & Thea Diaper bag you can easily bring what you need for the baby and still allow your school aged kids to enjoy their normal summer activities.

Don’t get so wrapped up in preparing for the fall that you forget to enjoy the summer. Remember, it isn’t over yet. There is still fun to be had and memories to make.

Teri Sinnott is a busy wife, mother of 3 girls, teacher, blogger, and certified Life Coach. She utilizes her professional experience and passionate heart to encourage others. Teri provides parenting and life hacks to simplify life and allow parents to focus on what really matters. No stranger to using her voice to create positive change, Teri hosts social media platforms that are centered on inspiration and providing a community of fellowship for women. Visit her at

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