Back to School Tips – 2

Getting Ready

Getting the Kids and Their Stuff Ready

“Make sure your routines are written out on a piece of paper, listed in the exact order that they need to be done.” – FlyLady from “Sink Reflections”

  1. My daughter just started wearing glasses so I’m going to purchase one of those inexpensive eyeglass repair kits that come in the little plastic cylinder to give to her teacher at the beginning of the year. That way, if she loses a screw or her glasses need tightening during the school day, the teacher will be able to fix it and she can keep “flying” through the day without her glasses giving her a problem. I also make sure that her backpack and lunch box are packed and ready by the door (including any notes/papers that need to go to school) and that her school clothes, shoes, and hair accessories are laid out before she goes to bed. That way, all we have to do in the morning is add the cold items to her lunch box and everything else is ready to go. No running around frantically. A smooth start to the morning makes for a smooth day. – Florida
  2. My children are now young adults, but we learned to “BUY EARLY” I also work in a drug store and already the back-to-school stuff is on sale. So, find the list(s) that your kids dragged home at the end of the school yr and take care of it now. You’ll save money plus, the selection is the best right now.If you procrastinate this, it’ll cost you more and you’ll be left with the leftover stuff that no other kid wanted, the “un-cool” stuff. hugs, a flybaby from the Pacific Northwest
  3. Before School Starts:
    1. If you have moved or your child is moving up to a new school, call and find out when you can come in and tour the school. Everyone will breathe easier if they know where they are going the first day.
    2. Get the school supply list and buy doubles. Keep the extras in a spot your kids can get to, so when they run out or forgot something at school they need to do homework they have it.
    3. Teach them the rule: when you take the last of something, put it on the shopping list.
    4. If your kids have been sleeping in, start a week or two before school begins to gradually start getting them up earlier. Then the day before, do a “dress rehearsal” by getting up at the planned time, getting ready as if going to school, and drive or bike to school so that you know the timing works.
    5. Every child who can write should have an assignment notebook.All homework, projects, requests for special supplies, etc. should be written in it and notes to go home can be tucked into it.

    During the school year

    1. Have a designated home work spot, and a time to start (be sure to give them a short break when they get home before they have to start).
    2. If they are old enough to have more than 45 minutes of homework a night, schedule 15 minutes breaks.
    3. Establish a routine of a parent checking the assignment notebook and looking over homework each night.
    4. Teach the children to put away the materials from one subject before moving on to the next.
    5. Have them put everything back into the backpack when they are done.
  4. I’ve only been a FlyBaby for just over a week now, but what a productive week! I’m still in the decluttering stages, but a lot of the stuff I have to get rid of is paper clutter. I’ve already started a very simple control journal so that I’d have a place for papers I need to refer to rather than discard. Since school starts here in just a couple weeks we are already getting all kinds of notes, lists, etc. from the school. I’ve made a section in my journal for my son’s school. When we went shopping this weekend I knew exactly where to find my son’s school supply list. No more rummaging through stacks of papers, my car and my purse. By leaving the list in the folder I’ll be able to restock items he needs later in the year. Thanks to you all!
  5. Hi FlyCrew. Thanks for all you do. I get the whole family back on School Schedule two weeks before it starts. That means getting up , getting dressed and having breakfast on early time even if we do not have any thing specific to do. It gets us all going to bed earlier and getting organized in the am. Also, we all start reading every day–something anything to get the kids minds and eyes back in practice. These two things have made school easier for the past five years.
  6. Hi, FLY-ladies: I am very much a flybaby, but here are some things I do to try to ease the transition back to the school routine:
    1. Two weeks before school starts, I get the kids back on their school hours schedule (in terms of bedtime and having to get up at the right time in the morning.) The first few days usually include my teens either crashing early or taking a nap. I allow it the first few days ONLY. After that, they get up and stay up! :-)
    2. I try to communicate with their teachers before school starts to find out exactly what their requirements will be, then work with the kids to make sure everything is organized the way the teachers want – and to try to anticipate any problem areas. One of my daughters is ADD, so it’s very important that we have the organizational structure clearly identified and in place before school.
    3. The last two weeks before school, the kids spend a couple of hours each day reviewing for classes and perfecting their “summer” assignments so they’re ready to submit on the first day of school. This year, one of the teachers is requiring one assignment on the first day of school and another one week later. Forget that! They’re both ready to submit on the first day!
    4. We always make lunches and lay out clothes the evening before, but getting/keeping homework together, etc. remains a hassle – especially those long-term assignments!!! I can’t wait to read your ideas for those headaches!

    Thanks! Flybaby in TN

  7. Color code your kids. We have 5 children and they each have a different color. I buy their folders, pencils, pencil boxes, book covers, notebooks, etc in THEIR color if at all possible. Then when I spy a purple folder I know it is my oldest daughter’s.
  8. I have two daughters in high school, sophomore and senior this fall who are involved in several sports and extra curricular activities like National Honor Society, Student Council and Band. My daughters pre-school teacher, obviously BO, started this and I have kept up with it through the years. Each school year when we buy supplies I buy a pocket folder for each of them and let them decorate it with their name. This folder is kept on the kitchen counter right next to the family calendar. (one of my hot spots, but getting better~!) When they get home from school they put papers that I need to see, fill out, sign and/or return on the right side of the folder. I then check it as part of my before bed routine, record events on the calendar and then put any papers they need to take back to school on the left side of the pocket folder. They then check their folders each morning as part of their morning routines. Eliminates the last minute frantic seach for the field trip permission slips that were supposed to be returned 3 days ago and other missed communications. Even at the pinnacle of my unorganization this small routine was a big help to me. Even 15 years ago I was trying to fly, I just didn’t know it!
  9. My tip – I try to schedule as many extra-curricular activities (dance, gymnastics, piano lessons, etc.) for the same day of each week (in my case Tuesday) and set that as my errand day. As I am shuttling kids back and forth, I do my errands as well. I work full time, but made and agreement with my employer to leave the office early 2 days a week to allow my kids to take part in these activities. I make up the time working at home in the evening or on the weekend.
  10. Our 5 year old went to daycamp last week. We pretended that it was Kindergarten to get the idea of how our routines might go once Sept. arrives. We picked out clothes the night before, made a lunch and got the swim bag ready–and I always reminded her that we will do this every night for school. When I picked her up at the end of the day I asked if there were any notes from her daycamp teacher–just like kindergarten. I’m hoping that small effort will help come Sept.
  11. The best tip I have is for parents of high schoolers. Make an appointment to meet your student’s counselor.This person will be a great asset and allay for you student’s high school years.Counselors help your student get the best classes and teachers. They also help with applying for college, including helping with applying for financial aid and scholarships.If you are concerned with some behaviors your student may be exhibiting, counselors a valuable asset in allaying your fears. If the behavior needs to be addressed, counselors know the best resources and people in your area to deal with the problems.

    Court these people. They can be worth their weight in rubies for their help and insight. Remember this may be your first time with a teen but they have probably dealt with hundreds and have been down many roads before you.

  12. Even though my kids still have their mornng routines (thanks to FlyLady) during the summer, things are a little more relaxed when school is out. About a week before school actually starts, I start waking my kids up at “school time” and they get ready as if they are leaving for school. Of course, their clothes are laid out the night before, backpacks ready to go. It just helps to have a few days of “practice” before the schoolbus shows up that first morning.
  13. Here’s a few tips that has worked for me an extremely busy payroll SHE.
    1. Spend a few minutes a day the next couple weeks going through the kids closets, and keep two or three favorite Tshirt/pants/shorts.
    2. Make a list of their clothes needs, white socks for gym, shorts, Tshirts, jacket, shoes, gym shoes, shirt from a special store, my dd’s get one item each from Abercrombie and fitch, the rest of the stuff at discount. Put a number next to each item, six pair socks etc, take the list to the stores, and set a time limit. BUY ONLY WHAT IS ON THE LIST!!!
    3. Go through their supplies, and do a fling boogie, half used pencils, erasers, incomplete crayon boxes etc. You know you are going to buy them new stuff. If you have stuff, put them in a box and check that item off the list of back to school shopping.
    4. Schools usually give out back to school supply list, add back pack, lunch box etc. BUY ONLY WHAT IS ON THE LIST!!! If the school did not , make your own list!
    5. As soon as you are back from shopping, give them the pleasure of packing their new stuff for the new school year, and the stuff gets put away and there will be no mad rush the day before school reopens. Have them hang their new clothes up right away.
    6. The night before school starts, they can have everything ready during their evening routine.
    7. I have started them and plan to continue a to do list for the next day, homework, project, pain, dance lessons, after school activities etc so they don’t miss any appointments etc. THEY SHOULD GIVE YOU THEIR LIST
    8. With that you can plan, extra snack, after school chaffeur service LOL etc.
  14. We take a short trip to the pool after dinner the last evening before school starts. My children know that swimming tires them out. They will sleep well and be prepared to get up early and rested for the first day.
  15. I am a first time school mom, but I have a couple routines that I remember following when I was in school. About a month before school started my mom would start making me go to bed a few minutes earlier each night until I reached my “school time” bedtime hour. Then she would wake me up a few minutes earlier each morning until I was waking up at the time I would be for school. I have started this with my daughter already. Another thing I have started doing, is waking my daughter up about 10 minutes earlier from her nap each day. In her kindergarten, she will only be able to take a 30 minute nap. At home, she still takes a 2 hr. nap. I hope this works for her. And I hope this will help some other flybabies. Flybaby in Texas
  16. What perfect timing! My DS is in year around school and started just this morning. Two weeks ago I “borrowed” and reworked material from the website to create a daily routine in three parts ~ morning, afternoon & evening for him with a catchy nick-name title on top.My DS is so happy with how is room looks now days and was very excited when I showed him this daily routine. He is starting 2nd grade and is a very hard worker & of course, a perfectionist. But I swear over the summer it’s like his brain grew and all the little neuro connections haven’t been re-established! I have to tell my kid, who has always been taught to do things the first time asked, over and over to do things because he keeps forgetting what I just said. This makes him very frustrated with himself. By having this posted on the wall in his room, when he can’t remember what he’s suppose to be doing, he just checks the wall and gets back on track. We had been doing a modified routine during the summer break, as I just found your site in May, but started doing “dry runs” of the full routine last week to get the bugs out. Things went very smoothly this morning, we have of course, some tweaking to do, but over all, it was a very peaceful morning. Even with my DH’s car in the shop, (who usually drops off DS so that the toddler doesn’t have to be rousted) and having to drop him off at work as well! – Thanks for the great ideas!
  17. As a mother of two kids ages 8 and 11, I have found two tips to be especially helpful for back to school. First, start moving bedtime 15 minutes earlier every few daysto help get the kids back on schedule. Ours have to be up at 6:30 am for school, so we have to get the younger one to bed by 8pm. By going only a few minutes earlier each night, the routine is easy to get into and no stress at all.The second tip comes from my daughter. She likes me to help her pick out all her outfits for a school week. We line them up on hangers at the front of the closet. We even put socks and hair accessories with the outfits. She likes the organized feeling this gives her and I like the no stress dressing in the morning. Many department stores have closet organizers with fabric shelves labeled with the days of the week. This would work perfectly for younger children as well. Take care, Flybaby in Marietta, GA
  18. I have 4 big dishpans in my front closet, one for each of my 4 kids. Their backpacks, bike locks, etc go in them. If I have a school paper to sign for one of them, I can sign it and put it in his/her bin. This is helping them keep track of their stuff and giving me a place for all their school stuff. Two of them put their clothes for the next day in their bins (guess which kids were BO?)

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