Parenting

The Solution for Your School Year’s Resolution

Twelve back-to-school tips from Betsy Fein of Clutterbusters!! and your friends at Activity Rocket.
Photograph via Shutterstock. Photograph by Shutterstock. Photograph by Shutterstock. Photograph via Shutterstock. Photograph by Shutterstock. Photograph via Shutterstock. Photograph by Shutterstock. Photograph by Shutterstock. Photograph by Kip Dawkins. Photograph courtesy of Grooming Lounge. Photograph by Kate Warren. Photograph via Shutterstock. Photograph by Shutterstock. Photograph via Shutterstock. Photograph by Shutterstock. Illustration by Ted Slampyak. Kelly Rogers Hale in the water teaching her swim-float-swim technique devoid of flotation devices. Photograph by Kelly Rogers Hale. Andre, Lily, David, Jasmine, Charles, and Lucas in the family room of their Glover Park home. Photograph by Kate Warren. Photograph By Blend Images/Alamy. Photograph via Shutterstock. Illustration by Ted Slampyak. Photograph by Shutterstock. Photograph by Kate Warren. Photograph via Shutterstock. Photograph by Image Source/Getty Images. Photograph via Shutterstock. Photograph by Rick Gomez/Corbis. Photograph via Shutterstock.

Right now, your house is probably still in vacation, summer camp, and sleeping-in mode, but back-to-school time is coming up fast. Here are 12 tips to ease the transition between lolling and learning:

  1. With so many activities and meetings lumped in at the start of the year, make sure that you have a family calendar. This can be a planner that you carry with you, an online calendar (we use Cozi.com) that you can add to from work or home, or even a big wall calendar. 
  2. If they are available, get a list of supplies that your child will need for school. Some stores even have lists on hand for different schools. 
  3. Create a system for handling class papers. Class assignments do not belong with finger paint collages. Implement a system, whether with binders, files, or containers, to keep these items organized and separated.  
  4. Craft your morning, after school, and evening routines.
  5. If your kids bring their lunch from home, set up a lunch-packing station in the kitchen. Stock the area with all the supplies that you will need such as storage bags, plastic containers, and napkins to write notes on. 
  6. Set up an education station—the place where your kids will do homework. This area should include easily accessible supplies like pens, paper, highlighters, and reference materials.
  7. Plan out your breakfast and dinner menus for the next couple of weeks and buy groceries. The first week of school is stressful, and this menu planning can help make things easier. 
  8. Plan/schedule “well visit” checks and vaccinations. Make sure that your kids are up-to-date with vaccinations and anything else you need to get them enrolled. 
  9. Back-to-school hair cuts. We fall victim every year to last-minute back to school haircuts. The week before school starts is haircut bonanza! 
  10. Whether your child wears a uniform or T-shirt to school, make sure that his or her clothes fit. Go through their dressers and closets to make sure that they have all that they need to look sharp on the first day. 
  11. Start some new traditions! Take a photo of your child in the same place every year. Make a sign to announce his or her new grade level or write it in chalk on the driveway. Make breakfast special. Put some candles in their waffle (one for each grade) and sing “Happy Back to School” to the tune of “Happy Birthday.”
  12. Keep your cool. The kids may be dragging you down as summer ends. Try to keep your cool and survive. School is almost in session, enjoy these last few weeks with your kids if you can!

Betsy Fein is the founder and CEO of Clutterbusters!!, run out of her uncluttered home office in Rockville. Fein has two kids entering 8th and 12th grades.

Activityrocket.com—kids classes, camps and sports. Booked fast. 

Don’t miss a new restaurant again. Subscribe to our weekly newsletters.

Questions or comments? You can reach us on Twitter, via e-mail, or by contacting the author directly: