6 Unique Back to School Tips

6 Unique Back to School Tips

Back to School Tips You Might Not Have Thought Of

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Getting ready for school is more than buying clothes and school supplies. It’s an emotional time due to the transitions and an opportunity to put solid systems in place, to streamline the day-to-day. In this post, I share my back to school tips to

  • Get Into a Sleep Routine
  • Set Up Your Meal Strategy
  • Set Up a System to Process the Avalanche of Paperwork
  • Set Up Goals and Intention Setting Process
  • Refresh Your Routines
  • Set Up Your Cute Pictures

So, let’s jump in. Taking these steps will help you set a solid foundation for a great school year!

Get Into a Sleep Routine

Back to school tip #1 is get into a sleep routine.

I don’t know about you, but my kids have been going to bed really late this summer. I’ll admit they’re going to bed half an hour or an hour past their school bedtimes.

Rather than going cold turkey and changing their bedtimes back the night before school starts, we are putting them in bed 15 minutes earlier each night.  So, the change is gradual over the course of the week before school.

One awesome tool that the kids have been using to help them fall asleep is Headspace. It’s a meditation app and has a series of meditations for kids. Andy, the fun Headspace narrator, walks them through a sleep meditation. It’s been working like a charm.

Set Up Your Meal Strategy

Back to school tip #2 is set up your meal strategy.

When I talk to clients and the Crushing Motherhood tribe, meal planning is always a hot topic. We often focus on dinner but there are 3 meals (plus snacks) to plan for:

  • What are your plans for breakfast?
  • What are your plans for lunch?
  • What are your plans for dinner?

Here are some options to streamline meals:

1) One concept that is recommended by many top efficiency experts is to have a set plan (they call it a protocol), so you don’t always have to think about what food to buy and what to cook.

So, you would have a repeatable rotation set for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It could literally be the same food for each meal everyday or it could be a rotation that you repeat weekly.

I know you might value variety and making up new plans every week, but what if you decided to value efficiency more than variety and made a set meal rotation that you can always rely on?

SIMPLE!

2) Another way to simplify meals is to purchase meal plans or meal subscriptions.

I have used the following services in the past and recommend them:

  • The Fresh20 – Weekly meals that use 20 ingredients. Includes shopping list, prep list, and quick recipes that take 20 minutes or so to cook.
  • Mealime app – Personalized meal planning app that has a lot of great options for allergies, preferences and eating types (e.g. Paleo)
  • I’ve tried a few meal box subscriptions like Blue Apron but it didn’t really fit our needs at the time. For our family, the recipes were a little more involved than we wanted for a family with younger kids. But, I know a lot of other families swear by these. Could be a good optoin for you.

3) Batch cooking

Another great way to handle dinner is to cook in big batches and freeze them. I love Once a Month Meals (this is my affiliate link).

You can pick and choose your meals and cooking type (think Instant Pot, crockpot, grill, etc), to build out a plan. You can save this plan and re-use it the next month. Love that shortcut!

I’ve also used Wildtree in the past with a friend who is a consultant. That’s been a good (and fun option if you do it with friends).

4) Set themes

To keep the decisions simple, you can set themes for each night of the week. These don’t sound as catchy as Taco Tuesday but accomplish the same thing – making it simple as possible to decide what to cook. Pick a theme and then choose a variation (e.g. turkey, chicken, beef, etc):

  • Breakfast night
  • Soup night
  • Pizza night
  • Leftover night
  • Crockpot night
  • Burger night
  • Fish night
  • Chili night
  • Taco Tuesday (of course)

5) Simplify with protein shakes for breakfast

I use Isagenix because I think it tastes better than any other shake I’ve tried and the ingredients are clean.  The kids are obsessed with mint chocolate and I love peach mango. I am also an affiliate with them, here’s my link.

There are lost of other options out there, find a brand both you and your kids love and then go with that.

We save the more involved breakfast food like eggs, pancakes and waffles for the weekend and also for one night a week – breakfast for dinner.

Set Up a System to Process the Avalanche of Paperwork

Back to school tip #3 is to set up a system to process the avalance of paperwork.

You know what’s coming…an avalanche of paperwork. Set up systems to handle it so it doesn’t get the best of you:

1) Sort the paperwork into the following 3 buckets

  1. Handle anything that’s time-sensitive immediately.
  2. Add date-oriented info into your calendar. Take a photo of the invite, flyer, email, etc that has the info on it and save it to a ‘Calendar’ album on your phone.
  3. Put anything that needs more than 1 minute to handle in a basket called the ‘Sunday Basket’. Then, set aside 30 minutes on Sunday to go through it all and process it as needed.

2) Create a system for saving the kid’s best work

I love setting up a folder for each kid per school year in a banker’s box. I save the best work in there. Who knows what will happen to the bankers box later when the kids grow up. I know when my mom gave me a box of stuff she saved, I threw it away. But, it keeps the mom guilt at bay! Here’s a post if you want more detail on this process – How to Save Your Kid’s School and Artwork Without the Clutter (or Guilt)

Another technique I love is taking a photo of the work and saving it for the year’s annual family photo album.

Set Up Goals and Intention Setting Process

Back to school tip #4 is to set up your process for goal and intention setting.

For some reason, I had this idea that goals are for older kids so I always limited my goal-related discussions with the kids.

Over the summer, we started shifting to the 2nd grader and fournado setting their own goals. We keep them simple and shorter-term.

For example, the second grader set a goal to get a promotion on the swim team. We talked about the importance of proactively telling his coach what his goal was and then following up weekly to ask her how he was tracking to the goal.

This was a HUGE lesson for him and so much more advanced than I give him credit for.

I also talk to him about his intentions each morning, and on the way to his various activities. That helps too, to get them in a more focused frame of mind.

The fournado is able to set his intentions too, and short goals.

Consider adding goal and intention setting to your routines if you haven’t already. You know how much I love goals 🙂 and I think the earlier we teach our kids this process, the better. 

Refresh Your Routines

Back to school tip #5 is to refresh your routines.

Starting school is a great time to reconsider the routines.

  • What do you want to continue?
  • What do you want to discontinue?

My list is —

Add: 

  • Morning gratitude journal with 2nd grader
  • Set day’s intentions on the way to school
  • Morning gratitude conversation with preschoolers
  • Evening meditation using kid’s Headspace
  • Chore charts for all 3 boys

Continue: 

  • Nightly reading with all 3 boys in bed. They call it study hour and it’s so much fun.
  • Evening exercise as long as weather cooperates – walks, biking, swimming

Discontinue:

  • So much TV time (shift to the weekends)
  • My husband and my electronic time (use the concept of an electronics box)

What is your list? This is a great time to reassess and make sure your daily routines match to how you want to run your life and family.

Get Set for Cute Pictures (ahead of time)

Back to school tip #6 is to get the cute photos!

I think there’s a lot of pressure of the first day of school picture.

I like to take the pictures the weekend before, to keep the stress lower and to use as a dry run for clothes and backpacks.

  • I have this chalkboard.  I actually have 3 of these, one for each boy.
  • The latest trend is letter boards. I just bought this one.
  • There are some fun printables online too.

(these are my affiliate links in case you want to send me some love when you buy a chalkboard or letter board).

Those Are Your Back to School Tips

In addition to buying the supplies and clothes,

  • Get Into a Sleep Routine
  • Set Up Your Meal Strategy
  • Set Up a System to Process the Avalanche of Paperwork
  • Set Up Goals and Intentions Setting Systems
  • Refresh Your Routines
  • Set Up Your Cute Pictures

Do you have any others to share? Drop me a comment, I’d love to add them to the list.

 

Did You Know?

I’m a success coach for working moms. I work with other moms to create and execute the mindset, strategies and routines that are required get out of survival mode and achieve your goals, both personally and professionally.

Think of it as a re-set for ambitious moms who want to maximize what they do, who they are, and all they impact to make the most out of life.

The first step is to meet for half an hour to talk about your goals, obstacles and mini action plan. If you want to create your own mini action plan, here’s the link to schedule the free session on my calendar

I’ll coach you through building the plan and identifying your next steps. Then, we’ll talk for a few minutes at the end about what I do and if we might be good working together. I’m not a salesperson so don’t expect a sales call. I only accept clients who are a good fit.

This is time focused on you and your goals, and how to get to the next level. 

Related Posts

How to Save Your Kid’s School and Artwork Without the Clutter (or Guilt)

5 Easy Ways to Get Started with the Instant Pot

50 Tips to Get Stuff Done

10 Time Management Tips for Moms

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