Updated 6/25/2020: Back to school readiness launched in the summer of 2019. Since the 2019-2020 school year, many things have changed but the prep is still the same with some minor adjustments!
Welcome back to the Back to School Readiness Series. My hope for this series to help create a less stress school year
If you are new to the series here is a break down of what has been covered so far.
- The introduction includes the free printable checklist
- Week 1: Plan it out includes free printable planner and important date reminders
- Week 2: Get Organized the basics included free printable shopping list templates
- Week 3: Organized to the extreme included printable meal plan and chore list
- Week 4: Morning Vs Night Changing your routines and implementing a few changes can change your whole school year
Now we move forward to week 6 continuing on with getting your home ready.
I know a lot of you are thinking “Girl you already had me clean everything out, plan a command center, think meal plan and daily/weekly/monthly, chore list and changing up our morning and night routine!!! What else is there to do?”
My response is not much! Just a few small things. None of which includes a printable worksheet. Well, maybe just a little chart for babysitters which is not so much a worksheet just a planner. As I said in week 5, these are all more habits and routines than overall tasks.
What About Lunch and Snacks
This may sound like a funny thing to add into a home ready, but honestly, this is one of the top things that I have heard parents complain about. They want to send school lunches with their kids but it is one of the things that cause them to run late or they forget.
First off, determine whether you are buying school lunches, making them, or a combination of both.
In my opinion, spending $4.00 for a lunch my kid more then likely won’t eat isn’t worth the headache of dealing with a hangry kid once she gets home. Then they snack so much it ruins their dinner.
So I do the combo if it is a day that they are serving something she will eat then I do school lunch. Sometimes I decide not to pack lunch at all and instead bring it to her and enjoy seeing her in the middle of the day because one day she won’t want me around. Enjoy the season while you can!
Okay, let’s talk packed lunch options!
Now since moving to Colorado, we have more cooler days than what we had in Texas. Plus my kiddos get sick of cold lunches. That is why I love these thermal lunch containers. They get something warm in their belly mid-day without the hassle of having to warm it up.
Lunch doesn’t have to be stickily sandwiches and soups. There are so many creative lunch ideas out there to help keep it interesting for the little ones!
Need Lunch Ideas for school lunches:
As I mentioned earlier the time it takes to make lunches is a burden for most parents. So I have two resolutions for this problem.
First, you can whip it all up the night before so in the morning it is as simple as tossing everything into the lunch sack and you are good to go. This one is really my backup plan, because let’s face it even at night things can get a little crazy and you may not always have the time to get this done.
Second, and the one I have implemented, is to get bins for your fridge. I spend 20 minutes if that a week, dividing things, making things, and filling them.
- In one bin I place healthy snacks like premade sacks, like apple slices, grapes, baby carrots, raw broccoli and cauliflower (I just buy a big bag and divide it into small disposable snack bags), have small Tupperware containers of nut butter, and ranch dip.
- In another bin, I place other snacks like apple sauce, oatmeal energy balls, cheese sticks or mini berry muffins.
- In a third bin I place sandwiches, pin wheels, tuna salad for crackers, and meat and cheese kabobs.
- Then I get 2 big bins for the pantry. One with desserts (fruit snacks, chocolates, Nutella dippers…), and in the other pantry bin it is chips and things like baked cheese crackers.
Then in the morning my kids or myself grab one thing from each bin and that is lunch.
I hear you, “So, Leah, what about these hot dishes you pack. I also I have a bin for lunches in my freezer. Anytime I make a soup, pasta, or rice dish that can freeze easily I make extra. Divide the extra into freezer bags and place in the freezer. When you know it is going to be a colder day and your kiddo will need a mid day warm up, pull it out of the freezer the night before, prep thermos in the morning according to manufactures directions, warm up food and pack with a few of those pantry snacks.
Do you have any lunch tricks that work for you? Leave them in the comments we all would love to hear them!
School Lunch Home Ready
Some suggestions on great reliable bins and reusable labels.
- Fridge and Freezer BPA Free Stackable Bins
- Food Storage Containers 6 PC with Labels
- Food Package Kitchen Storage Organizer
- Metal Storage Bins with Handles
- Refrigerator Pads Non-Slip Moisture Absorption Pad Washable Can Be Cut Refrigerator Mats, Set of 4
Remote Learning Lunches
Home or at school I think it is nice to have lunches done at the beginning of the day, or prepped in advance. I started doing this for myself and Eli when I started working from home, because if I didn’t it would be a snack fest all day.
It is true what they say, “If you fail to plan then you fail to succeed.”
The other nice thing about having it done before the day starts is if you get tied up in a meeting or busy and loose track of time then your kids are still set. All they have to do is open the fridge and pull out their lunch.
The sports hassle
Again it is a funny thing to have in home ready, but hear me out!
I don’t know about you but after school sports and extracurriculars are getting be a bit insane. We all know the importance of keeping our kids busy and that these activities look good on college applications but there are only so many hours in a day!
That is why when it comes to these activities I suggest you think and evaluate your schedule. Then evaluate your kid. The truth is student-athlete means the student comes first and if they are not willing or able to juggle both responsibilities then the answer is a hard no until they can show you otherwise.
If the student has shown that they can get decent grades and play a sport then move forward to calling in reinforcements. Come up with a game plan when you need to be where make sure it works. Get involved with the other parents! Trust me you are not the only parent worried about juggling it all. Come together and determined which parent will pick up the kids different days of the week from practice.
Then determine which meet, match, or games you will be able to make it to. Find out which ones mean the most to your kiddo’s too. Especially if you have more then one kid in an activity at the same time try to map it out so your kid has a heads up when you will not be standing in the stands cheering them on. Then try to make arrangements with another parent from the team to pick up your kid.
This is the home part! Don’t feel guilty for not being able to make two events on the same day at the same time…. It is not possible. Divide it equally and do your best to be there for the ones that matter. That is really all you can do.
Missing the important ones make for upset kids, feeling guilty leads to upset parenting. These two things lead to a frustrated and upset house hold. You are amazing you love them and they love you focus on that when the guilt and upset sets in, your house hold will thank you for it.
Not any two kids are alike. Some kids need to come home and do homework right away before they lose their motivation to get it done. Other need a snack, some snuggles, and a moment to go through their day before doing homework.
Decided what your kid needs. As parents, we tend to want to have things the way we envision them in our head, but unfortunately rarely does anything in life turn out the way we plan.
This DOES NOT mean you let them take lead and decide when they will do their homework… no, if we did that it would never get done… we know this.
However, if they need that break to recharge before doing homework get them in the habit of saying “Okay, I will give myself 15,20,30 minutes but then I have to sit down and get it done.”
If they are the type that needs to do it right when they get home then have snacks ready to grab and go so they can munch while they are working. Nothing breaks focus more than hunger!
Either way, I recommend having a homework station or area ready to go. This could be a tote they can carry wherever with pencils, paper, pens, and other odds and ins they will need. This could be a desk or a spot at the table where they will not be interrupted or distracted. Whatever your heart feels will get the homework done and without too much of a fight.
Homework Ready Supplies
- Black Folding 17″ x 11″ Lap Desk with Storage – Durable Lightweight Portable Laptop Computer Children Adult Kids Lap Desks for Homework
- Kids Lap Desk Tray, Portable Activity Table, Pink
- Create-a-Space Storage Center, Bright Colors
- Portable Craft Storage Organizer Caddy Tote, Divided Basket Bin for Craft, Sewing, Art Supplies – Holds Paint Brushes, Colored Pencils, Stickers, Glue, Yarn – Small, 2 Pack – Clear
- Office Supplies Desk Organizer Tote for Scissors, Pens, Pencils, Notepads – Small, Gray
- 4-Drawer Rolling Storage Cart with Organizer Top, Gray
- Desk Organizer with Drawer, 9 Compartments, All in One Office Supplies and Cool Desk Accessories Organizer, Enhance Your Office Decor with This Desktop Organizer (White)
Remote Learning Home Readiness
I will say this… I missed my big house with my big office with a big play area for the kids last year. But! Life is what you make of it, and we are in a house half the size and we just had to make do.
If you are in a small space like us then I do recommend getting a carry tote like above to put all pencils crayons and other school necessities it will save the run around and a lot of stress. I also recommend a lap desk this way if the kids are sick of sitting at the table they can get comfortable and get their work done. I am a mom that believes in comfort to avoid the headache of them whining.
The key to keeping yourself from pulling out your hair and keeping your kids on track is to get organized and stay organized. Most of the time we are stressed it is because we can’t find stuff and we run behind and we all know the domino affect that has on life.
Schools Out: Do You Have a Sitter?
We touched base on this during week 2 when we planned it out. Now it is time to look at your sitter list and find out when and who will watch your kids.
Here is a print out just to help you sort the dates and the who’s:
There is nothing more stressful then finding the last minute baby sitter but if you are ever in a bind my favorite online service for sitters is Care.com. I had to use them a few times when I moved to Texas since I knew no one. The downside with any online service is it usually cost more then it would if you found a nice lady from church or PTA meeting.
I will not dive into command centers since I already did in week 4, but I will elaborate that I do feel this is the one most important piece of an organization that keeps my family and many more on track the entire year.
That’s a Wrap on Week 6
Well I know a lot of this you probably already do however I hope you gained at least one or two small ideas that will help you be more efficient this year.
Now I would love to hear a few things you do to get your home ready for this upcoming school season. Leave it in the comment below, you never know who it will help!